Do you ever reflect on yourself and think about how you've changed? I catch myself in scenarios or dealing with people in ways which I would never have in the past, in a good way. I reflect and think about my younger self and similar scenarios which I've been in which I would have reacted differently. The outcome would have been completely different.
Sometimes I think about myself and have to ask myself “Have I really changed THAT much?” I feel like at the core of myself I have remained the same. My values haven't changed but my perspective on life has.... immensely.
One of my favourite books of all time is The Prophet by Khalil Gibran. It was originally published in 1923. The book is about The Prophet who is about to leave a city which he lived in for 12 years to head home. The people of the city assemble before he's about to board a ship to ask him some questions. They ask questions about love, marriage, happiness, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, houses, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom and the list goes on. Each chapter The Prophet answers one question. It's a very insightful and easy read.
Ok so where am I going with this? There's one line in that book which stuck with me when I think about change.
"You can not act accordingly if you do not perceive correctly"
We have been programmed from birth, based on our culture: how to act, how to think, right vs wrong and so much more. We're all very different, unique individuals. No two people on earth have lived the exact same life, have the exact same experiences and feel the exact same things.
Change comes in two forms. External and internal. Personally, I think external change requires less effort. Ie. Changing your hair colour, your style, redecorating your home etc. Internal change and your perception can be very challenging.
The beauty about change is that it can really happen at any time. Sometimes change comes willingly, other times it happens right under our nose and we don’t realize it until we have that Ah Ha! moment where we’re able to acknowledge, “Wow I’ve really changed”.
Change affects perception, which then affects how we act, which ties into the quote mentioned above.
I’ve come to learn that you can’t change people. You can only change yourself and your perception. Your perception determines how you deal or entertain people who you see as needing change. Your perception determines the boundaries you set with yourself and others. When someone willingly wants to change, including ourselves, they/we start acting differently. The effort is visible, the energy is different.