“My life sucks.” These words were said to me by a friend a while back. To be fair, he wasn’t wrong. He made a decent income but had several kids to support that did not live with him. He battled addiction on and off. He had been to jail a few times. His life was not ideal and he knew it.
We met on occasion for encouragement and accountability. As we talked I would ask questions to get him thinking about his life, the choices he makes, what he would change in his life and how the change might take place. His responses consistently centered around his circumstances like his parole officer, mother of his children, his boss, etc.
From his perspective, life was happening to him and he had no control over it. He wanted relief from the nagging, the demands of his time and what he viewed as an invasion of privacy. He wanted his circumstances to change without him having to change. That is not how life works. My experience with life has centered around making internal changes that can have an outward effect on the relationships around me. So I was reminded of this quote by James Allen:
“Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.” ~James Allen
I am sure this fits for women too. Humans are anxious even desperate to change anyone and anything outside our control (our circumstances) because the only other option is that we are the problem. It’s either us or everyone else. I believe the truth is that you and I are our own worst problem, but we also have the solution. Instead of focusing on what we cannot control (our circumstances), we need to focus on changing our behaviors and actions.
So we stay stuck, just like my friend. Looking outside of ourselves to blame and point a finger and desire for others to make changes to their life. If you want your life to be different, then make the change in yourself first. No matter what that looks like, get help, call a friend, get counseling, go back to school, workout, lose weight, eat better. The choice is yours. There is always time for what you want to do, even make changes that are challenging.
This requires discipline which I define for myself as: making the right choices when the path of least resistance calls.
The path of least resistance says everyone else should change and that the problem is never with me. In my experience, that is almost never the case. As the king of pop said, “I’m starting with the man in the mirror.” What about you?
Will you stay stuck in your circumstances, unwilling to look in the mirror, make changes in your life to improve your relationships and outlook on life? Or will you choose to improve yourself by walking a path that has resistance? What change do you want to make? Who will you give permission to speak into your life to guide you toward the life you want?