I have a sincere question for you: Have you ever wanted something for someone…something that would really benefit them…but they’re just not interested?
I’ll bet your answer is “yes”. Let me explain and give some examples:
- You have a friend that doesn’t exercise, eats terribly, and drinks a lot. Their weight, blood pressure and cholesterol are all through the roof. They’re self-destructing, yet they couldn’t care less.
- You have a family member that spends money irresponsibly, and you see warning signs that they’re headed towards a financial cliff. You’ve offered to help but they have zero interest in changing their ways.
- You have a colleague that continues to work crazy-long hours and is completely neglecting their spouse, kids, and friends. You challenge them yet they continue to justify their actions, pushing aside the inevitable consequences you know are coming.
In each case, I think you’d agree…these types of situations are sad. They also have one big thing in common:
You simply want better for them than they want for themselves.
Despite your best efforts and for whatever reason(s), they just don’t respond to you trying to help.
And you might be like me. Even though I know intellectually that I’m not responsible for helping or “fixing” anyone—and that I can’t make a horse drink—I still struggle with this sometimes because I want them to want it.
This has shown up for me in both my personal and professional life.
For example, back when I was doing fitness coaching, I could get someone in just about any shape they wanted if they’d just listen and follow the plan. But did they? Not nearly as often as I would have liked, regardless of how much I tried to create incentives, support and encourage them.
This bothered me quite a bit.
Back then I really took it personally, like I’d let them down somehow or just hadn’t figured out the magic Tetris combination of motivational strategies and techniques to get them to take action.
Today I sometimes experience this with my speaking for Lifeonaire. I’ll give a short presentation to a group and do my best to give them a glimpse of how incredible their lives could look like if they’d embrace our concepts, principles, and philosophy. (I can say this with confidence because I’ve seen Lifeonaire change thousands of lives already – mine included).
At the very end of the presentation I sell tickets to our 3-day Get-A-Life Getaway, an amazing workshop that helps people create their Lifeonaire vision, identify limiting beliefs, overcome fears, etc. It’s awesome. I want every single person in that group to come–and invite everyone they care about too—because I know what it can do for people.
(Note: You should really hear some of the life-changing stories coming from our Getaways lately—you might even consider joining us for one sometime soon, if you’ve not been lately.)
But guess what? In most cases, only a fraction of people typically sign up. And my first reaction is often that I let them down by not convincing them to buy tickets and attend.
…Kinda nuts right?
So what does this have to do with you and why am I sharing it?
Because if you’re reading this, you’re likely someone who is on a path towards something great in your life. You’re learning, growing and investing in yourself and your future. And I want you to have peace and be okay with the truth that many people won’t join you on that journey.
There will be many people we’ll encounter throughout life, people that we care about and want the very best for, that for whatever reason won’t want that for themselves. Whether we’re talking about someone’s health, relationships, faith, finances, business, or something else, we simply have to remember that it’s not our job or responsibility to fix, change, or even help anyone that doesn’t want it or isn’t ready for it.
What is our job? Simply to love them where they are, live as an inspiration of what’s possible, and be willing to help if/when they are ready for a change. That’s it. And that alone goes a long way.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you struggle with this at all? How have you dealt with it? Let’s have a conversation in the comments.