True and lasting influence comes from working on ourselves, not wielding our knowledge and experience to create standards for others to uphold.
The older I get, the harder it is for me to resist using the word “should.” We “should” be doing it this way; we “should” have started working on this sooner, and we “should” look into this in the future. There’s nothing wrong with the word per se, but what often follows is some version of me using my experience as a crutch to imply that there is a better way.
It’s easy to do this. (And we all do it)
The more we become experts in life and work, the more we tend to rely on that expertise to paint a picture of a better way that reinforces what we already know. But the thing is, this is our truth, not necessarily the truth of the people we are seeking to help.
We can’t change anyone or anything without changing ourselves.
We can wish others would come along with us, putting time and energy into hoping that the right form of persuasion will make a difference. Or, we can focus on being the best version of ourselves, clarifying our values, and taking steps to live and work towards them.
THEN the door opens to influencing others.
Our example is the way forward, not our carefully chosen words or deeply held wishes.