Although human beings are social animals, the fact is that we are all alone in our heads. It has often been said that “we are born alone and we die alone” and while that seems like a trite sentiment, it is also true.

In our interaction with other people, throughout our lives, another maxim also holds true – “you cannot change anybody’s mind, except your own”. Well, of course, there are exceptions to this – you can, by coercion or persuasion or bribery – BUT in general, you simply cannot do so.

To develop this concept further, as I have reiterated before, you cannot control someone else’s behaviour or conduct, except your response to the same. This understanding applies to all relationships – whether personal or business. I know this too well, having made the fatal mistake of trying to change the minds of a spouse and several bosses in the course of my life, with no success whatsoever.

This will be the root cause of disappointment, despair and depression. A sense of powerlessness that can easily remove every ounce of motivation in your life. Now, I have never been good at trying to force someone to do what I want or have successfully persuaded to do the same. So, what is often left to me is people pleasing. In other words, I hope that my acts of service will result in others treating me favourably.

Again, this approach is a recipe for disaster. It raises expectations that are bound never to be met. In general, people are ungrateful self-interested bastards and once they cannot get what they need from you, then you are no longer of any use to them, and then you will be discarded.

I have experienced this too many times in my own life – so many people I have ‘helped’ that ultimately have proven to be shallow and selfish, only interested in your well-being as long as they were able to extract some benefit for themselves.

Once, that realisation finally hits home, then the notion of being alone begins to become a highly desirable state of affairs. No expectations, no disappointment, only contentment.

So, do not complain about feeling lonely, dear reader, being alone is a natural state once you recognise the harsh reality of life. Let others continue to run around like headless chickens, trying to pull people into their orbits, thinking of various schemes to influence others’ behaviour in one way or another.

Do nothing. Want nothing. Feel nothing. Simply be.

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