Be the Change

Nelson Mandela ChangeIf you’ve been reading my blog for a while,  you will know I love all things change. I’ve worked as a change and project manager and have always been drawn to the people side of change and human behaviour. I have always considered myself open to change and willing to try new ideas. I absolutely believe Nelson Mandela (may he rest in peace) when he says “we can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference”. And, of course, Gandhi when he says “be the change you want to see in the world”. And I’m sure many of you do too. And it can be easy and effortless. Sometimes, it just means being the “bigger person”, letting a comment “go through to the keeper” or maintaining “leadership of self”.

I have been been dealing with some difficult people lately. One particular person has been untruthful and mean, and it’s affecting people I care about. It’s caused me to (well, get angry first… then…) reflect on what I can learn from this. We all deal with difficult people. In fact, I am convinced they are evenly distributed. No matter where you go, no matter how great your job is, there will be someone nearby who could be perceived as:

  • difficult, annoying, mean, stupid


  • someone who is there to teach you something

Being the change is hard when I’m surrounded by stupid people…

It’s not always easy. Sometimes the turkeys get you down. Sometimes you go to jail for 16 years for what you believe in. But you can still make a difference. What we need (among other things) are options. When faced with any situation, we always have AT LEAST two choices. We can:

  • remove ourselves from said situation – e.g. change jobs, change relationships, move house, move city, move country (!!)


  • ask “what can I learn?” and change how we perceive the situation

I love what I do, so changing the situation was not an option, so I had to ask what I could learn. And how I could perceive the situation differently Which was interesting because I was right in the middle of my 6 Core needs blog series, so I didn’t have to look far. This situation (and many others) is a reminder that everyone has different needs that are met in different ways. Going one step further, everyone has different skills or resources that they use in different ways.

We are all doing the best we can

I choose to believe that everyone is doing the best they can with the resources they have. If we had different resources, we would do things differently. So, looking past all this, I realised how grateful I am for the resources I have. I appreciate that not everyone has learned what I have learned. Or experienced what I have experienced. Without applying this learning and experience to my own life, this knowledge and learning is for nothing.

What has this taught me? Well, it’s taught me to step up and apply what I know to myself and be the change that I want to see in the world. It’s not easy. It’s frustrating. But if can’t do it for myself, how can I do it for others? The situation is still the same, but by taking control of it and giving myself an action, it doesn’t seem so hopeless. And it definitely seems much better than before. I’m calling it a win…

Do yo have a situation that if you saw it differently and took a learning from it, everything could change? Go ahead and share using your favourite button!