When I was younger I loved to read comic books, play video games, and watch movies. A common theme that ran through many of the stories was that of a heroic figure who saved the day. I really liked the idea of being a hero, and as I got older I looked for situations where I could be a hero to people.
A Rude Awakening
I started out with what I thought were noble intentions of trying to help people, but I was in for a very rude awakening. My method of helping people mostly involved giving unsolicited advice to friends, family, and even some strangers. The response to this unwanted advice was predictably very poor. I had yet to learn a very important life lesson: you can not help someone that does not want to be helped.
Some Lessons Are Hard To Learn
You would think that I would have learned my lesson after the negative responses I got, but sadly I did not. Instead, I figured that my advice was not good enough. So I proceeded to try to learn more so that my “help” would be better. As you can probably imagine, I continued to receive the same responses. It was baffling to me because I knew I was “right”, yet I still encountered resistance and sometimes even outright dismissal of my advice.
The Truth Is Finally Realized
It took me a long time, but I finally realized where I had been going wrong. I had to face and accept the hard truth that a person will not change until they are ready to change. It does not matter how much you want them to change or how right you are about the behavior that is negatively affecting them. Until someone reaches a mental state where change is needed and wanted, they will keep repeating the same behaviors. Some people have to hit rock bottom before they accept the fact that they need to change their life.
A New Role
After learning this life lesson, I decided to take on a new role. Instead of trying to be a hero that saves people from themselves, I now strive to be a catalyst. I work to become the best person I can be, and share what I have learned only with the people that are ready to do the same.