Here’s a math quiz. Solve the following equations:
17 + 21 + 3 + 11 + 12 = ?
14 + 7 + 18 + 16 + 9 = ?
6 + 5 + 15 + 24 + 14 = ?
If you are impatient or math challenged, the answer to all three is 64.
Many people claim they are making changes in their lives by substituting different numbers in an equation that always add up to the same result.
It’s what I affectionately call “rearranging the underwear drawer.”
In this endeavor, nothing really ever gets changed, just moved around.
Here is the mindset that prevents people from changing. “I’m willing to change if I don’t have to change this.” More on “this” in a bit.
Change is non-negotiable. It’s either do or don’t do. We keep attempting to manipulate that reality to fit our unwillingness to follow the rule.
Your exception to the rule – your “this” – is the self imposed roadblock to change.
The sad truth I see is that people who don’t change don’t think they have to. It’s the hidden agenda of hubris that we “know better” than anyone else and the laws of the universe don’t apply to us.
It’s pure delusion and mental illness of the highest order.
Let me repeat this. People who don’t change don’t think they have to.
They keep moving numbers in and out of the equation, which gives the appearance of effort, but they are careful enough to manipulate the math so it always adds up to the same number, most often, until their number is up.
They talk a great game and they always disappoint. They can also be quite charming. You may expect the outward attitude of these folks to be over the top, but it oftentimes manifests as a quiet smugness. They believe they’re keeping it under wraps but it’s written on their forehead in magic marker for anyone who’s willing to pay attention.
The misguided belief they operate from is that everyone will eventually come around to their way of thinking. As my sainted mother used to say, “Don’t hold your hand on your ass waiting.”
Make no mistake. They own the patent on being right. Reminds me of a sad story . . .
One of my best friends growing up had this pattern of behavior. His “this” was that he never did anything wrong. He never thought there was anything to apologize for and he was as oppositional as they came when it came to taking any responsibility for what happened in his life. There was always a scapegoat he used as a mascot.
He piled on some more destructive behavior while serving in the military. When he was discharged, he came home and made his living robbing mail trucks looking for credit cards to use to support his drug habit. He spent time in prison. Then, as a “rehabilitated” 49 year old, he was shot dead while robbing a liquor store. He died being right.
What’s your “this”? It has to change if you’re going to change.
There is a trade off for being this right. You are left out. “No one understands me.” Yes they do. You just never listen to them because you “know better.”
It’s a pathetic place to live but you may as well buy furniture because you’re not moving anytime soon – not until “this” becomes “that.”
You can continue to tinker with the math but it will never add up to a workable answer until you outgrow your “this.”
The unspoken rule of people who don’t change is: I refuse to give up what I have in order to get what I tell people I want.
The hardest thing to change is something you don’t think needs changing. Or in the words of author, Julia Cameron, “Nothing dies harder than a bad idea.”
Dogs don’t recognize themselves in the mirror and neither do humans who continue to rearrange and dodge change.
All the best,
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