Andrew and Dr. Katrina Katen are a husband and wife team whose love for learning, education, and life enrichment inspired the founding of Inner Compass, a place in Grand Junction for self-discovery and successful living. Learn more at: www.myinnercompass.org.
The other day, I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Mahatma Gandhi: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” A sage thought, and undoubtedly there are many variations and interpretations of this concept around the world.
To me, Gandhi’s words are important for a couple of reasons. First, they highlight the power of the human mind. In a recent post, I wrote about how we create our lives with our thoughts. Indeed, we seem to attract what we think about. When we focus on what we want, we tend to get more of that. Paradoxically, when we focus on what we don’t want, we tend to get more of that, too!
Gandhi’s words also caused me to reflect on which aspects of our lives we have the power to control, and which we don’t. I believe this distinction is important for us to understand if we want to make the world a better place. Let’s take a look at a few examples…
We can control our thoughts and actions – and in doing so, we occasionally influence other people. On the other hand, we can’t control other peoples’ thoughts or actions, and trying to do so typically leads to frustration and resentment by both parties.
We can be responsible for what we say and do. But we can’t always count on other people to take ownership of their actions or words, or to respect our decision to be responsible for ours.
We can create personal goals and persevere to reach them. No other person has the power to dictate or limit our imaginations or dreams. We can’t always prevent nature or other people from placing obstacles in our paths, but we can choose to endure and overcome those obstacles.
Most of us want to make the world a better place, but creating change is not easy – especially if it involves trying to change someone else’s mind!
However, we can change ourselves – and we can start today. Every one of us has the power to focus on what we do want (instead of what we don’t), be thankful for what we do have, create our own unique ideas of happiness and success, and take the steps required to reach these goals. No other human being has the power to control the infinite power of our minds.
And, ironically, by thinking about what we do want, controlling what we can, and changing ourselves, we actually are changing the world… our world.
Challenge: If you could change anything in the world, what would it be? Then, translate that thought into one thing you can do differently today.