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“Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.”  ~ Deborah Reber

I am fortunate to share a message of hope, renewal, purpose, service to others, accountability for self, boldness of action, and massive impact with audiences around the world. It’s a message that challenges leaders to own their current story, to not be negatively impacted by the past or external events, and to determine how they want live going forward.

So, why do I have such a tough time following my own advice?

Perhaps we’ve shared this experience: You’re with a person or a group of people and you try to make them happy. And nothing works? Any you take it personally?? Ever been there???

This past week I presented to group of challenging business owners. They were disengaged, drowsy, lousy attitudes, typing on cell phones, a most difficult group indeed! I tried desperately to dig them out of their malaise. The more I challenged and implored this group to be present, to wake up, to dive in with me, the deeper down I found myself!

The thing is, it’s not just groups that I try to challenge and change: I do it with family, my friends, at church, in the community, with the lady at the drive through window (and whether you’ve known it or not, I try to do it with you in every newsletter!).

What I know to be certain is that we can’t make anyone change. We can’t will our joy, our passion, our hope, our faith, our work ethic, our values, our views onto others. We can lead them, challenge them, love them, serve them, and provide choices for them. Ultimately, they must choose their next step and their decisions in life. Not us.

Wow! How beautifully liberating this truth is!

Today, my friend, continue to challenge the co-worker, the patient, the student, the spouse, the child, the friend, the absolute stranger, to tap into the joy of life. Challenge them to mainline the gift of life through their own. But don’t do it in your words, do it through your actions.

Others must see the manner in which we live our days, go about our business, love our families, and lead our lives. In witnessing this (not in being told to be a certain way) then they may choose to model our example, or not. The most important lessons in life must be caught, not taught.

Letting go of past harms, current hurts and the choices others make is far from easy. But in doing so you take back the one thing you can control: the manner in which you live, lead and love in your life. You’ll be thrilled you did.

Just don’t be surprised when those you sought to change are now seeking change in order to live like you!

John O’Leary

My friend, please share with me someone YOU know who – just in the way they live – challenges and inspires you to grow in your life. Celebrate them right now by either emailing me at John@RisingAbove.com or by posting on my community site at www.Facebook.com/SpeakerJohnOleary Look forward to hearing about this person and how they impact you!

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Live Inspired Together is a community of friends changing the world together, starting with their own. In a world that often focuses on negativity, John O’Leary - Live Inspired shares the other side of the story through his member-supported channels (essays, Live Inspired Podcast, video, webcasts, social platforms) to connect our community and share inspiration and actions to live it. Support now.