When we start our self journey to improvement, often times we feel that we have to do this completely alone. Let go of everything and embark on a journey to find yourself away from the influences of everyone and the world. Forget everyone that you knew. This is far from the truth. We humans are social creatures and we need each other to thrive.
Think of every movie you’ve seen. Even when the main character wants to change, there’s always someone, no matter what their role is in the main characters life, to help or inspire change: the wise sage that imparts mystical wisdom, the friend with endless support, the family member who the change is for, or even the stranger that triggered a forgotten desire that’s been hidden deeply in the depths of the heart. Sure, the focus is always on the main character but the point is the main character is never alone.
How does this translate to our own self journey? Just like the main character in the movie, we are always surrounded by people even when it feels like we’re not. Years ago when I was 18 years old and just recently moved to a new state, in a new town, and recently graduated from high school, it felt like I was completely separated from everything and everyone that I knew.
During this time, I started to seriously reflect on my life and decide what my next course of action was going to be to accomplish my goals. Looking back now with fond memories, I was a brooding, ‘edgy’, young adult who felt like the whole world was against me and that to change my life for the better, I had to do it completely alone. That was my mistake.
It wasn’t until I got older and now, at 25 years old, that I realised that I was so wrong. We are always surrounded by people who help us in some way and in the ways that we least expect it. Call it the ‘Will of The Universe’ or fate or God’s Plan but I’d like to think that there’s a reason why we meet certain people at certain points in our lives even if the encounter is for a moment or if it lasts for a life time.
At that time we may not understand why we meet certain people but when we look back in hindsight, we will. There’s always something that we can learn from each person that we come across and it’s up to us to choose how to interpret the meaning behind it. A good or bad experience is relative because what at first seems like a ‘bad encounter’ with someone, later on turns out to be a ‘good encounter’ and vice versa because it may have been just what you needed.
Of course, I’m not saying we should seek out ‘bad people’ in order to learn something from them. The point of this post is that for each and every person that we meet, there’s always a lesson to be learned from the meeting and it can help us move forward.
Have you noticed that, when you wanted to change something in your life, or improve yourself, or even when you just need help, you meet just the right people to help trigger these changes?
I can think of a handful of examples: when I started to want to improve my outlook in life and go from a reactive person to a proactive person, I started to read Dr Stephen Covey’s ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’. When I got back in touch with my high school crush and driven by the desire to see them again, I applied to university in the same state. When I caught up with my old highschool friend again, I was inspired to start my own WordPress blog. During the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and I had just lost my job, I met a mentor who helped me improve my resume and job application skills.
To this day and probably until the time I leave this earth, this will keep happening. This will also keep happening to you. Even now I still get signs in the form of human encounters. Whenever I get a bad day at work and when a coworker moves on, it’s a sign for me to start applying to a new job. Whenever I start to stray and crave McDonald’s, my lovely boyfriend gently reminds me of the time the staff forgot to put my apple pie in my bag, and I get fired up again and stop craving (even now as I write this sentence, I’m all fired up again!).
While yes, we do need to face our own fears and problems, this doesn’t mean that we have to do it all alone. There is strength in numbers. This doesn’t mean that we expect others to solve our problems for us but that to ask and accept help from others when we need it.
Whenever I want to do something new like apply for a new job or to start a new habit, I tell my family, friends and my boyfriend for accountability. Whenever I start to feel like I’m slipping back to seeking comfort at work, I get a terrible encounter with a coworker or a customer and this fires me up again to keep finding jobs to apply to. Even to all the motivational YouTubers and countless people on Reddit who I will probably never meet, I’m grateful for watching their videos and reading their stories because this helps me to keep striving for my goals as I go along my self journey.
Once you start to sow even the tiniest seed of change in your mind, life will slowly send the people that you need to help you. You never walk alone in this life. Help will always come in ways that we least expect. It’s important to lean on the strength of others and to be grateful for everyone that you meet because each person teaches you something that you needed in that moment.