Have I really helped you?
A while ago I met this lady who told me that she regularly read my pieces in the paper, I’m fortunate in that many people tell me that they enjoy the work I do, but her comment was different. In a slightly condescending way she was quick to tell me that she enjoyed my pieces but as she read them she thought to herself ‘I’ll never do this’. I found her comment to be an interesting thing to share as I wasn’t quite sure what she was hoping to achieve by telling me this and I have to admit that I was a bit taken aback by her comment and it made me feel slightly despondent.
Throughout my life I’ve been fortunate to be given opportunities that allow me to spend time developing work that focusses on helping people grow and develop themselves and I’ve always thought that my true measure my success is ‘does my work help people change and progress?’. While it’s nice to hear someone say that they enjoy something I’ve produced the most rewarding feedback I get is when someone says ‘I’ve changed because of the work you have done’ so you can see how a nerve was hit when that lady shared her comment with me. She was basically telling me that my work was a waste of time.
I’ve often wondered about the regular readers of these pieces, if I were to assess the success of my writing I would ask the question ‘do I help you create real change?’ - how well have I done? My ultimate outcome would be that I have somehow managed to create some type of shift for everyone but I know that is unrealistic, in reality there would be varying answers to this. Some people would be like the lady above, some may have made small shifts, and there may be some people who have made some big changes through the work and ideas I have put to you over time.
If someone asked me what I thought the answer was to creating change in our lives no matter how big or small, to me the number one key to this is the commitment to working on yourself as a person. When you do this you put the effort in to reflection, determining where you want or need to grow, creating a plan, surrounding yourself with the right network of support, and then doing the daily work required to achieve the change. Generally people who have this commitment evolve and through this evolution their life continues to gets better.
So selfishly, I want to feel that I’ve helped create a shift in your life and therefore I want to set a challenge for you. What is one area of change that you can commit to working on over the summer period? As you think about this question you may think big or you may just look for a little tweak in a certain area, just try to find something that you feel is achievable.
The next question is, how do you make the commitment to getting to the end of summer having achieved this change? This is about you doing the work. Look at your current situation, determine a goal that is realistic in this timeframe, create the right support networks, use reflection along the way, and plan time for this ‘working on self’. I guarantee that if you commit to taking on this challenge you will evolve in your chosen area by the end of summer but I do wonder what you thought when you finished that last paragraph. Did you think ‘yes, I’m going to do this’, or did you think ‘that’s a nice idea, but I’ll never do this’.
If you are the person who always thinks to themselves ‘nice idea, but I’ll never do this’ where has this approach lead you to in your life? If you were to shift this perspective how do you think things would be different? This is about you making a commitment to improving your life and getting the most out of it.
I hope if one day our paths cross you will be able to tell me that my work has helped you create some change in your life and that you are committed to continual growth and improvement. It’s an investment in yourself, and the outcome is that you get to live a life where things keep getting better over time and the evolution of you is an exciting, fulfilling experience, one that allows you to love your life.
Now go and commit to doing your work, good luck.
Bevan James Eyles
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