I heard someone say the other day that when you are frustrated because you’ve tried a million times to address a problem you have with someone and it hasn’t worked, that this is often a sign that you are trying to change someone. It reminded me of the famous Einstein quote above. It’s amazing, when you think about it, how much effort we put into having the same arguments over and over again without realizing that we are only going to achieve the same end result as we always have. I suppose in some weird way, it’s a testament to how much hope we humans can hold, even in the darkest of situations. We convince ourselves that maybe this time our attempts to make someone see things our way will finally succeed! But, it is kind of sad how much energy we sometimes put into things which are truly not in our control.
When you accept that the only person you control is yourself, it opens up a new world of possibilities. Instead of striving to change other people, we can start to focus on things that can actually make a difference. Instead of trying to turn your teenager into a neat freak by lecturing him on the value of cleanliness every day, you can instead brainstorm about how you can peacefully live together. Maybe you can have a discussion about how you can both be respectful of the other’s needs, and find some agreements that work for you both. Maybe you can tidy up together. Maybe you can create an organizational system that will be easier to manage. Maybe you can hire a house cleaner. Maybe you can close his door when you walk by his room.
Take a moment today to think about the frustrations that continually bother you. Are you putting more energy into trying to convince someone else to change than into actually finding solutions?