Today’s post from 11 years ago (’Not My Best Day’) paints an unsatisfactory picture of myself. But that is okay because my development was a work in progress. It was not finished. It still isn’t. But today, looking back at that version of myself, I know things turned out okay.
It is noticeable in that post, however, that Karaj was having to intervene and reassure me that I was doing okay. It is often difficult for us to see our progress and we are sometimes reliant on those around us to remind us of the good work we are doing on ourselves and that, in time, we will get there. 11 years ago it didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere. But I was.
When I consider the question in the title of this post, my thoughts turn to two people I know, both of whom are facing very difficult challenges in their lives. They both received the shock of their lives earlier this year. For one it may well have been the final straw and it may be too late to change anything; for the other there is more than a glimmer of hope because the event has quite possibly been a vital wake-up call.
Both of them have reached points in their lives which, one could argue, make it very difficult to find any motivation to change. They are set in their ways, their patterns have been reinforced over many years and they may not have the energy required to change things. They could, in their own way, justify saying that life has dealt them a tough hand. Such a justification would allow them to continue with their familiar behaviour without any effort at all.
If they want to change things, though, they will both need a different attitude as well as the strength, support and patience to turn things around. Had they been asked 20 years ago I am sure both of them would have imagined themselves in better places at their respective stages in life.
However, without some level of awareness, life has a tendency to pass us by and, before we know it, we are nearing its end, wondering how we ended up this way or that way. If things have gone badly, we will always have something or someone to blame. For some of us, that is an instinctive reaction. And perhaps the easiest one, too.
A more difficult, but an altogether more beneficial approach would be to look at ourselves and ask the question: Why has this happened to me? As soon as we do this, we allow ourselves the opportunity to grow, to become more like the person we wish to be. And when we search for the answers to this question and act on the things we discover, we become better versions of ourselves.
When I look at one of the two people I refer to above (the one who will probably never change) I appreciate even more the successes I have had in my own personal development. When I look at the other person, I just want to tell him to give it everything he has and to be patient, because in a few years’ time he will be much closer to the person he wishes to be.