There are exceptions to every rule, but for most of the issues we face in life the answer is always the same: work on yourself. Whether you are angry with someone, or you think others should behave differently; whether the world is not how you’d like it to be, or life seems to be dealing you a difficult hand, the solution lies with you. You improve your situation by working on yourself, and there is much you can do because the amount of power and control you have over who you are and what happens to you is huge.
It begins with your ability to create your own reality, which I will talk about in the next post. For now, let’s look at the present moment. Whatever your circumstance, you have a choice about how you respond to it. The reason, however, that it may not seem as though you have sufficient control is because you often respond in familiar ways which feel automatic and beyond your control. That familiarity is rooted in years of conditioning and habits, and is influenced by your long-held perceptions of the world and your ideas about how things work. But what if you released yourself from those habits and influences and started again? What if every time you noticed familiar thoughts and feelings which tempted you down well-trodden, fruitless pathways, you simply chose a different route? (‘How Easily The Mind Goes To Work‘ is an excellent example of this point.)
You can choose how to be in any given situation. The main difficulty is in recognising the habit and catching it in time. It takes practice – daily practice – but it’s possible. Why wouldn’t it be possible? Think about that for a while. Why wouldn’t you be able to change how you behave? After all, we expect it from children when they misbehave. The only reason you behave the way you do is because you have learnt to do things that way. And it feels automatic because you have practised it so often for so long. Your patterns are a combination of external influences and the early (and inevitably uninformed) decisions you made based on how you thought life works. But now that you possess more information, there is nothing stopping you from making different choices; or from responding in a different way; or deciding on another way of being.
Furthermore, if helping yourself were not motivation enough, you also help others by working on yourself. When you reach the point where you are unaffected by events; where your emotions no longer dictate your mood, but are instruments for growth; where you are in harmony with everything around you; where you can trust your heart to do the right thing; where your intuition offers you guidance without any effort; where your faith in yourself and the process allows you to live completely in the moment; and where you know that you will be okay whatever happens, then you will inspire others. Not just that, but your presence will have an uplifting influence on your environment. Just as a negative person can alter the mood simply by entering a space, so a person who shines can lift an entire room. And the best way to shine? Work on yourself.