I consider myself to be a life learner. Right now I am in the middle of a year-long certificate in Positive Psychology. It has been a fantastic journey and last month, as part of my training, I attended a week-long retreat in the beautiful town of Tepoztlán, Mexico (picture above). In this intensive week of scientific learning and deep introspection, one of the lecturers put on the Michael Jackson song, “The man in the mirror”:
I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make a change
These lyrics stuck with me because I believe that the one thing we have control over in this ever-changing world is our choice on how we see things. We choose the perspective we take on matters. We decide what is useful to us, what to let go of and what is worth fighting for. We have control over how we act and how we react.
For any change that we want in this world, whether it is for ourselves or for others, we must start with the person in the mirror. Change must start from within. Before you can expect anything from others or ask them to make changes—whether they are family members, a spouse, co-workers or even society at large—you have to accept and create change in yourself first.
- What is important to me?
- How are my actions affecting the situation I am in?
- What is another perspective that I can take?
- What other options are there?
Change starts first with the person in the mirror. When you look in the mirror, remember that the person you see is strong and resilient. You have the capacity to learn and grow, to adapt and change, and to make this a better place for you and for everyone else in it.
PS: If you are going through or planning a major life transition, I invite you to download “8 Steps to a Positive Transition”. This is an easy-to-read resource that can guide you through change. Let me know what you think!