tl;dr: fire crazy people from your life, because you cannot change the people around you, but you can change the people around you.
this is based on a true story.
may 26th, 2020 i had a facetime call with a wonderful human being, her name is franziska.
she asked me: “what’s your most valuable lesson learned?”. – pause – i made sure we’re both on the same page, so i rephrased it, so i could answer: “what’s one of your biggest learnings?”.
until then, i didn’t keep my biggest learnings in readiness to quick-fire answer on such a question. i had to look it up in my notes. i scrolled up and down through my notes from the last years. i tried to quickly reference each note to a real life example making sure it’s not something out of thin air.
it felt like an eternity searching my memory. the next moment she wanted to declare i can answer it the next day, i came up with my lesson learned example: you cannot change the people around you, but you can change the people around you. it took her a second, as i didn’t pronounce it the way i marked the words above bold.
until here ~2mins have passed in which i did the following:
- opened my notes app: searched for my “learnings” topic
- skim read through all the notes
- continued the conversation to make sure it’s no awkward silence
- referenced the most compelling ones to a real world example
- decided for “you cannot change the people around you, but you can change the people around you“
clarified the real world example in my mind to make sure i could properly explain it to her. the actual learning here was clear by now: you cannot change people’s way of living, doings or how you like them to (be)have. but you can change the people who surround you.
my real world example
back in 2018 i was on a trip in spain with a friend. after a couple of days i noticed heavy misalignment in the behavior of his actions and my values:
actions speak louder than words || he preached about can pollution and littering the next minute he threw his cigarette tips on the ground == a hypocrite.
deeply care for your friends || he didn’t care for his peers: we had our equipment outdoor. when a storm came up, he only took his stuff inside. his reply: “i didn’t want to touch your property.”
be positive, have fun, enjoy life || he was upset about the wind, waves and sun. each of these was either too intense or too lousy.