The man on the deathbed

When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser and realized the world would not change I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country: but it too seemed immovable. As I grew into my twilight years I settled on changing only my family and those closest to me, but alas they would have none of it. Now as I lay on my deathbed and I suddenly realize that if I had only changed myself first, then by example I could perhaps have changed my family, and from their inspiration and encouragement to me I would have been better able to help my country and from there I may even have been able to change the world.

I read this at the toilet of one of the camp I visit frequently for work, and I thought it was rather meaningful. I shared it on Facebook the other day, but there was no impact even though I thought it would be good for people to know.

Most of the time we live our life dreaming of big things but not doing them. Slowly we realize that we can’t achieve our goal and hence we slowly slice our expectations down till the bare minimum. For this man who wrote this story, he realized upon his deathbed that the very first change that anyone needs is change within oneself.

Very often we don’t realize that the one who is stopping ourselves from achieving our dreams and goal in life is nobody else other than ourselves. We blame external factors for our lack of success. The situation is too difficult. The interviewer was trying to be funny. I didn’t like that job anyway. If only he didn’t ask me that. He didn’t have the eyes to see how good I am. Blame blame blame. Everyone else other than ourselves.

It is easy to blame someone else or some situation that is out of our own control. But sometimes all it takes is a fundamental change in attitude. Take ownership of your failures. Learn from them and internalize them. Change yourself to suit the situation. I once read a piece of advice from a book, “If you want to be promoted to your boss position, start acting like him”. Basically we should act like we are able to take up the challenge, instead of just working like we normally do and expect to get promoted naturally.

There are lots of things that we can do to improve our lives. Starting from today.


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