I’ve been thinking a lot about this mindset lately. Mostly because I’ve been there before, friends and family have been there before, and someone nearby is probably “there” right now. Actually, you can be certain someone close to you is.

This year I’ve thought more about how we choose to extend ourselves and help others. It seems some people prefer a mass dose of helping out everyone that comes along their path. Others, like me, prefer to pinpoint a select few and dig in the heels for a time. I’m not suggesting either is the right or wrong per-say, but I see that trend play out amongst friends and family.

What I’ve spent most of my timing thinking about is: what if that person or persons you want to see succeed don’t follow through with advice? What if that person, however well intentioned, just isn’t in a place to shift gears?

I believe Tony Robbins had the most recent quote on this topic—not that others in history haven’t had a very similar turn of phrase—that simply suggests:

Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.

How much must we hurt, before we’re forced to change? How much must we feel sorrow, before we change? And how much struggle must we endure, to then make a change?

Whatever the circumstance, the answer seems very much the same on a base human condition level: a lot.

If we’re not careful—or aware of this phenomenon—life can get pretty hairy, and for a long time. Those of us who’ve lived through such seasons understand that it doesn’t take much to get caught in cyclical storyline.

So, let this be a message to you and those around you. If you’re reading this, you know who you are.

You’re good enough. People love you. The world is not against you. In fact, the world is very much for you if you’ll let it help you from time to time. People like me, and people like the other friends and family by your side, want to help.

You can be happy;  you can find success; you can make that change. But remember that it starts from within first. You must first take that next step forward.

The thing is, we’re in control of our own happiness through how we decide to react to the circumstances life presents. We’re in control of how we react, address, and move through those circumstances.

No one else is responsible for that. Only you.

Whether you’re a friend, a family member, or a complete stranger, understand that it will get better. There is much more light ahead. But it all starts with you at the core. Staying the same is no longer an option: make the change.

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