Two quotes made by famous world political leaders decades apart seemed to just fit together this morning –
“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him… A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” (Mahatma Gandhi)
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” (Barack Obama)
I’m not sure that Gandhi would be happy to be characterized as a political leader. Maybe it would be better to state that he was a philosophical leader who just happened to be thrust into the political situation in his country. It turned out that his philosophical approach was the correct political response for that time and situation and he ended up freeing India from British Colonial rule.
I suppose that we all have a tendency to wait to see if change will come to us or somehow just happen out of no effort of our own. That is seldom the case and it is especially true if the change that needs to happen is within us as Gandhi said.
In order to change yourself (your nature as Gandhi put it) you must first recognize that change is needed. For many that is a big stumbling block. For some, admitting that our circumstances are no the result of the actions of others, but rather the result of our responses to those actions is the issue that must be overcome. For others admitting their own mistakes and forgiving themselves for them is the blockage. Reassigning our current situation away from “things that are out of my control” and into “things I have yet figured out how to deal with”, at least puts you in the right mindset to make the changes that you need to make.
Perhaps if you could start each day by taking a few moments to ask yourself, “What do I need to change in myself today in order to be happier and more successful in life?” If nothing else, it will get you thinking about where you are in your life and perhaps identifying things that you are unhappy with and which need to be changed. The next step is accepting the fact that the changes will not happen unless you make them happen in life or in yourself.
Make some little effort each day to change yourself and your life for the better. As you change yourself you might notice, as Gandhi said that the world’s attitude about ands towards you changes, too. You’ll be in a better place than you were by being a better person than you were. Don’t wait. Start making changes today.