Change yourself to change your situation

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By Toby Moore

For Capital Region Independent Media

 

We’ve all experienced times when things were going well, we were moving towards a goal, and suddenly things began to sour. A new manager may be putting negative pressure on you, or maybe a family member is constantly angry with you — no matter what you say or do, it’s wrong.

Situations like this are most challenging. It’s hard to move forward. We lose the spring in our step, we let our heads droop down, we wonder why everything has to be so bad. We go home at night and we dread the next day. We wonder how it will be possible to make it through.

You say your prayers and beg for a change; you confide in your loved ones. They try to help, but nothing they say seems to make a difference.

The positive thoughts become few and far between. You try to be positive, but with a bad attitude, you think to yourself, “I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.”

The fact is, things don’t always go the way we plan. We plan for great things, and then not-so-great things can happen. We have great expectations, but sometimes those expectations are crushed.

When life becomes like this, it’s easy to get negative. It’s easy to get stuck. It’s easy to think things will always be like this.

I used to believe that when life gives you lemons, you should squirt your enemies in the eye, but is that the best way?

Years ago, I had a job where everything was running smoothly; it was all under control. Suddenly a new manager was hired and life became very different. Initially, I was OK with the pressure, but it became too much. I couldn’t stand to be at work, and I was distraught. It was a good job and I didn’t want to leave, but I didn’t feel like I could deal with it any longer. I prayed, and I read, seeking a solution. I tried to change my manager, but nothing seemed to work. I lost my cool.

After some time, I realized I wasn’t going to change the situation, nor was I going to change my manager, but instead, I was the one who needed changing.

Sometimes to overcome a problem, it isn’t about changing the other person; it’s about changing yourself. Often our reaction to what’s happening is the problem. We have a choice.

I’ve had family members get angry at me, and my reaction only made things worse. I’d try to show them the error of their ways, I’d complain to other family members, I’d think of ways to change them, but it never worked. The only time things became peaceful again was when I changed myself, when I changed my reaction.

The other person may change, but it usually won’t happen according to our time frame. When you can’t change the situation, it might be because it’s time to change your attitude and feel about it.

They say everything in life is only for a season. Is that true?

Oddly enough, when I finally adjusted my attitude and gave up trying to change my manager and the situation, when I accepted that I was the one that needed changing and I took steps to let go and become flexible, my manager was fired.

After reading that, I know some of you are going to change real fast! Don’t get your hopes up! Ha-ha!

When he was gone, I missed him. I realized how much he had changed me and what valuable life lessons I learned in the process.

Everything in life is only for a season; whatever you’re going through won’t last forever. Soon, you’ll be in a new season with new challenges. Make the most of each season. Allow the season to change you; it will prepare you for the next season.

Gandhi said, “…as a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him….” Is that true?

Try it and see.

Toby Moore is a columnist, the star of Emmy-nominated “A Separate Peace,” and CEO of CubeStream Inc.

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