It’s far more straightforward to influence a proactive human being than activate over-thinkers and emotionally led people.
All productive activity and progress in life begin with movement. Where there is no toil or struggle, there will be no progress or growth. This is a law. We cannot make progress without having first made a decision. This is also a law.
If we are not striving to move forward and progress in life, we may unwittingly end up stagnating and decaying. Therefore, we must guard ourselves against decay, and by continuing to keep on moving and growing, we protect ourselves from stagnation and becoming irrelevant.
Trying to drive a stagnant person is like striving to push a boulder up a hillside. When it comes to individual growth and progress in life, its relevant to note that all change is not growth, and all movement is not forward advancing.
A wise man once told me, “You cannot direct a motionless vessel, and in the same way, you cannot lead or influence a human being who’s not already moving somewhere.”
It’s important to note that not all movement is progress. In truth, some movement can be detrimental to progress. Growth is unlikely without change, and change is unlikely without a decision having first been made. Those who will not decide to change their minds will find it difficult to progress.
Most people navigate their way through life being motivated by one of two things; to feel better about themselves, or to grow in maturity, responsibility and character. Only the latter of these two options promotes advancement and individual growth. Maturity and decisiveness walk together hand in hand.
When we are children, we speak like children, think like children, reason like children; act and behave like children; however, when we become adults, we must do away with childish things. One vital sign of maturity and character is a person’s capacity to postpone and delay gratification.
Mature individuals, young people or adults, make decisions that are in alignment with their values. Values are simply principles that direct our choices and tend to lead people beyond emotionally reacting to life’s ups and downs. It’s important to note that although our emotions are necessary in life, it’s maturity and character that gives us mastery over them.
As adults, unless we direct our focus towards things of a mature nature that will stretch us and build us up, our minds default setting is usually self-sabotaging by nature. Many people undermine themselves in life for this reason and never comprehend why.
If we are to continue to grow and mature, we must prioritise the relationship we have with the truth before all other things. Mature people are eager students of truth and never assume to have all the answers. The more informed we become in life, the more we appreciate how little we know.
“Observe your thoughts, for they become your words. Manage your words, for they will become your actions. Consider your actions for they become your customs. Acknowledge your biases, for they can become your values. Understand your values, for they become your future.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Revel in what you’ve achieved in life so far, but make sure always to raise the bar a little higher each time you strike a winning goal. Never be reluctant to seek wise counsel from somebody who is more experienced than you, from trustworthy friends, or those who have already built admirable things with their lives.
We need only explore history to appreciate how one individual can spark a movement that shifts the course of history. Martin Luther King in the US civil rights movement, Mahatma Gandhi in India and Nelson Mandela are great examples of people persisting in their movement to generate societal changes on a local, national and international level.
Smart people seek wisdom and understanding before new ideas, information and acts of an instantly gratifying nature.