One of the most thankless yet necessary tasks performed in our society is performed by refuse collectors.
When the refuse is not collected for some or other reason, we very quickly have a refuse problem – an accumulation of smelly, rotting rubbish that makes things very unpleasant. You may however have a refuse problem of another sort …
Have you felt that you’re not fulfilling your potential, not growing personally or professionally as much as you think you should, or being criticised by your staff or family for reasons you fail to understand? These may be symptoms of a refuse problem you would do well to address as soon as possible.
This refuse problem has nothing to do with rubbish but, in a different way, causes the same effects – unpleasantness in your circumstances and your life.
Without our realising it, life presents us with an abundance of opportunities to learn key lessons and truths in order that we can progress to greater things. If we fail to learn those lessons, life will not reprimand us, blame us or judge us. It will simply continue to present the opportunity in a different form, over and over again, until we finally learn the lesson. In cases where people fail to learn the lesson, ever, they go to their graves not knowing what might have been – what might have been if they had learnt the lessons …
And usually such people die sad, bitter and full of regret because of what might have been.
The question I want to ask you is: how big is your refuse problem? Let me phrase that a different way … when life presents you with opportunities, do you refuse to take them? Do you refuse to learn the lessons life brings you? Do you refuse to start doing things differently when you see that old ways are no longer giving you the results you desire? Or do you just keep blindly pushing ahead with the same old, same old because, well, that’s the way you’ve ALWAYS done things and that’s the way things should work?
How many times have you refused to admit to yourself that you need to change your thinking? Never? Then you have a very big refuse problem that’s going to leave a lot of rotting rubbish in your life and your circumstances.
If you refuse to change the way you think, you will never ever change the way you act, and you will always get the same results from your actions.
People refuse to change their thinking because of what they think they know. They think that what they know is right and that there could not possibly be another “right” way of thinking or doing things. Consider where you got what you think you know from – probably your parents or primary care givers. Now, ask yourself if you can be 100% sure that what they told you is 100% reliably correct and valid for all times.
If you are prepared to be brutally honest with yourself, you’ll have to admit that you can’t settle for that 100%. Which brings us to the next point … if there exists a possibility that what your parents taught you is not 100% valid and correct, have you ever tested the validity of what you were taught?
What they taught you was based on what they were taught. That’s now probably anything up to 80 years ago. Really. Are you convinced that you’re quite fine living your life based on lessons you were taught using beliefs and information from 80 years ago?
A lot has changed since then. Many beliefs that people had about the way things work in the world have been shown to be no longer valid. Remember the belief that the world was flat? We all know now it never was. People just believed it and lived accordingly, afraid to venture near the equator for fear of falling over the edge.
How long will you allow your refuse problem to continue? How long will you refuse to rethink things in the light of new information? If you are going to refuse to change, you will deprive yourself of living a rich, fulfilling and successful life. I urge you to address your refuse problem immediately. Life is too short to put it off until a more convenient time!
Alan Hosking is the publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net, @HRFuturemag, and a professional speaker. He assists executives to prevent, reverse and delay ageing, and achieve self-mastery so that they can live and lead with greatness.