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The Concept That Will Change Your Life

The Concept That Will Change Your Life

That’s not just clickbait – it’s absolutely true. What is this concept? It’s the understanding that YOU get to decide and implement things even if no one supports you, understands you, or validates you. You are enough. You have all you need to start having success with this right now, as soon as you fully understand this concept.

Let me illustrate this with an example. Let’s say a wife has tried to explain her need for order to her husband, but he is perfectly happy with the messy status quo, even though it may cause her to have to visit the psych ward if things don’t change. So, now after numerous attempts to garner support and assistance, the wife is willing to use “the concept that will change her life”. Here she goes: “Dear, I know that you are perfectly capable of living with this mess, but I am simply not able to tolerate it. It interferes with my ability to think straight, and I just can’t live this way anymore. Therefore, at 6:00 each evening I am going to roam through the living room for 15 minutes tidying, so I can relax during the evening and wake up to a tidy house. I am going to put all your shoes, papers, tools, t-shirts, books, and anything else that is on the floor into a cardboard box and put it by the door. If you take it out of the box and put it away before I leave the house at 8:00 the next morning, great. Anything that is still left in the box will be donated to Goodwill on my way home from work.”

Now, what do you think is going to happen? You’re right.  The husband will most likely complain, tell her she’s OCD, that’s not fair, she can’t just give away his stuff, etc. etc. He will try to intimidate her into abandoning this plan. She still has the same power. She can say “You may be right. It’s possible I do suffer from OCD. I really don’t know. What I do know is that I am simply unable to function with the way things are now. Talking about it, and asking you to pick up your stuff, etc. has not worked. So, since this is my problem, I have come up with a solution I think will work for me. As I said, you are perfectly welcome to retrieve anything of yours from the box and you have until 8 a.m. to do so. If you don’t retrieve it, I will assume you are ready to say goodbye to the items left in the box.” What if he still objects? What if she takes away his stuff and donates it and he turns purple and yells and screams, etc.? Guess what? The second or third time she gives his stuff away, I am willing to bet good money he will either start putting his stuff away before she roams the living room at 6:00, or he will check the box before she leaves at 8 a.m.

She isn’t being mean. She isn’t “punishing” him. She is taking responsibility for the problem and solving it. It’s not his problem. It’s her problem. Whining about it for the last 5 years hasn’t done a thing except cause her to feel anger and resentment. Doing something about it will almost certainly rock the boat, at least for a while, but after that…problem solved. It won’t be an issue anymore. She’s not asking him to pick up anything, or donate the box on his way home from work. She’s taking care of it. She hasn’t sprung anything on him. She told him exactly what she was going to do, so it’s not a surprise.

So, here’s something else to think about. Before you approach another person, who may be involved in something you need to change, understand exactly what you want, and exactly what you are willing to exchange to get it. Understand where you are before you enter into negotiations. What do you want? What are you willing to give in exchange? And stay true to yourself, and to what you think is right. People are not always going to agree with you, or like what you are proposing. Accept that that’s just the way it is. Another important part of this is that you aren’t being selfish in the sense that you don’t care about others. I wish there was a word in the English language that meant selfish in a positive way, that meant someone who takes care of themselves in an appropriate mature manner, but there isn’t a word for that. Instead, most people whine, cry, complain, and basically assume the position of a frustrated toddler, whose only way of getting what they want is to look to others to do it for them. Don’t be that person. You have the ability to make your own decisions, and you have the power to carry out what needs to be done. Yes, there are things in life we have to live with that we would change if we could, but some things really can be changed.  Have the courage and the self-knowledge to change them.