I regularly write quotes on Facebook. They are not just vague time wasting comments, but comments that are intended to provoke thought and inspiration in people. One of the recent quotes was “You are very influential. You can influence yourself to succeed or fail.” After writing that quote I got to thinking. How influential are we really. Who do we need to influence?
I read an article in a book by John Maxwell recently that I have listed below:
“A Middle-Eastern mystic said, ‘I was a revolutionary when I was young and all my prayer to God was: ‘Lord, give me the energy to change the world.’ As I approached middle age and realised that my life was half gone without changing a single soul, I changed my prayer to: ‘Lord, give me the grace to change all those who come into contact with me, just my family a friends, and I shall be satisfied.’ Now that I am an old man and my days are numbered, I have begun to see how foolish I have been. My one prayer now is: ‘Lord, give me the grace to change myself.’ If I had prayed this right from the start, I would not have wasted my life.” (Maxwell 1993, p. 50)
I wonder - what is your prayer? Who do you want to change? Our natural tendency is to want to change everyone around us, and the last person we want to change is usually ourselves. Why is that? I would say it is because change can be painful, and it requires work and even discomfort. When someone goes on a diet, or goes to the gym, sacrifices need to be made and work needs to be done to bring about the change desired. However, one the change has been achieved, we acknowledge the sacrifice was worth it.
I’ll reinforce the quote from earlier. “You are very influential. You can influence yourself to succeed or fail.” Which direction will your change take…?