For many years of my life, I have had a deep desire to get those around me to decide to grow personally. To seek personal growth. To not necessarily change who they are but to change the way they think. It was and still is a desire and a struggle I have because I just want people to work towards improvement and better things so bad. I have a desire to teach and I believe that I am an extremely gifted teacher. What I have learned over time in my life is that you don’t change people and get them open to change by teaching them or talking at them but you create the desire for them to change by you first changing yourself. You need to grow rapidly, chase your dreams, be radical and over the course of time not everyone but many people around you will begin to have the desire to change. Seeing is believing. When they see how much you are changing and growing. The different decisions you are making in your life and how they are paying off. How you treat people. Many people in your life that you are close with will begin to start feeling left behind. They will still desire a relationship with you but they will realize that in order to really be able to connect with you they will need to grow themselves and this is by far the greatest form of inspiration. It’s inspiring through example.
I have seen this many times in my life and in others. Recently I was talking with one of my best friends who has recently been on an incredible personal growth path. He has two brothers who have decided to also start moving forward in their lives and invest in themselves like he has. Him and his brothers have been trying to change his mother by teaching her, talking at her, because they desire so bad for their mom to experience the personal growth they are experiencing. All of that did not work. A couple months later after his mom has seen how much her sons have grown, the way they are changing for the good, the difference they have made in the way they treat others, she decided to pick up a book. After reading it for a few days my friend received a text from his mother who was in tears. He immediately called his mom and she was beside herself because of how much she related to the book and the story in the book. She had started the personal growth path. As I was listening to this story, I started to get the goosebumps and I immediately wrote in my notebook “the best way to inspire those around you to grow is to grow yourself and make them so uncomfortable that they don’t want to get left behind.” If you have someone in your life that you love and you desire deeply for them to grow, trust me, there is no level of teaching that will get them to grow, continue to grow and show them what change looks like and the result of it. The best way to change anyone is to first change yourself.
Ill give you an example of this in my life. A little over four years ago I gave my life to God and completely changed my life around. I stopped partying, hooking up with girls, cursing, I quit college, I quit soccer, and I am telling you my family went nuts. They felt like they were losing their brother and their son. Little did they know I was really starting the process of finding myself. Many times I got into discussions at the dinner table with my family about how God had changed my life. They honestly thought I was crazy because only months before, I would tell anyone and everyone that there was no God. Particularly my older sister really thought I was crazy. We were close in age so she knew me best before I began a relationship with God. Although she respected and supported my decision, she still thought I was crazy. Three and a half years later, I received one of the best calls I have ever received before. It was from my older sister. For the last three and a half years I had been doing my best to live out my beliefs. I had been changing and growing. Making big decisions, but most importantly I had stuck to my relationship with God and had continued to grow. My sister called me when I was sitting in Starbucks doing some reading, and she explained to me how she had attended church on Sunday and how it was an amazing experience. She explained how she felt like she needs some sort of foundation in her life and was trying to figure this whole God thing out. She explained to me that because she has seen me for the last few years stay true to my beliefs and had seen how much I had grown, and the foundation I had really caught her eye. And that I had grown so much that she desired a way to connect on a different level with me and that she knew that this would be a way. Tears streaming down my face, I realized even more so in that moment that a lot of times its not about what you say its about what you do and if you stick to what you believe, if you move forward many people may think you are crazy at first but they will come around.
You cannot teach people that aren’t open to learning and the best way to get people open to learning is by growing yourself and letting them see the changes in you. Create a desire in them to change and grow because they don’t want to get left behind. I know for a fact that anytime a friend of mine moves forward in life, I am not only extremely excited for them, but it inspires me to move forward as well because I simply don’t want to get left behind. What you do, how you carry yourself, and the decisions you make, makes a much bigger impact on the people around you then you realize in the moment. So go out and become more, do more, change rapidly, and I guarantee overtime you will see some of those people you love decide to come along the journey with you.
-The Professional Encourager and Uplifter