Everyone close to me knows that I'm a pretty passionate person. I tend to get obsessed with my hobbies or interests, and I talk about them nonstop to my loved ones. Most of the things I'm passionate about have to do with self-improvement. Here are a few examples: nutrition, yoga, wealth building. As I begin to learn more about whatever my next big interest is, I usually get so excited about the prospect of enriching my life that I want the same for those around me.
If you're like me, you may be aware of the things that your friends and family struggle with. You might see that their diet and lifestyle is giving them serious health issues, or that their negligent spending habits are on track to cause real damage. Or maybe you just notice room for improvement. If you're like me, then those things really haunt you, because all you want to do is see your loved ones thrive.
Here's the problem: not everyone is looking for help. I've spent an enormous amount of time and emotional energy trying to help those close to me, only to see them stick to their ways. I've finally started to realize that my effort may be misdirected.
No matter how good your intentions are, no matter how much you are trying to help, you simply can't force someone into something.
It simply doesn't work. As the old saying goes, you can bring a horse to the water, but you can't make it drink. This is a lesson I've learned the hard way.
The thing is, even if what you're doing would benefit the other person, they will resist if they're not ready. Any genuine, lasting, meaningful change needs to come from within. That might not ever happen for them, or it might be a while until something sparks their desire to take action. But it's not your decision to make.
You will save yourself a lot of grief if you realize that people only respond to change if and when they are ready.
Trying to push something on someone only makes them pull away even more. Unsolicited advice can sometimes feel like a judgment or a personal attack on someone, and that's not what you want. If the goal is to show the other person how their life could be better, the best way to do that is to show them with your own actions.
Take it from me: don't spend your life trying to change people who didn't ask for your help. The best thing you can do is redirect that effort into improving yourself.
Don't push your habits, projects, or even career moves on other people. You are the only thing you can control, so do everyone a favor and work to build yourself a lifestyle that others will want to emulate. It will be much more meaningful (and more likely to result in positive change) when others see you flourishing and come to you for advice themselves. Be yourself, and that's truly enough.