There are so many sayings associated with people’s ability to change. A leopard doesn’t change it’s spots, or you can’t change someone they have to want to change, and of course change doesn’t come easy. Most people would agree, change is difficult.
So maybe learning to make better choices is more feasible than outright change.
Learn to adjust
Take for example a person who goes from doing bad things to good. This person with an extensive history of bad habits doesn’t really change for the better, they just learn impulse control, or replace their bad habits with better ones. Fundamentally they are still the same person and can relapse given the correct circumstances, but they choose not to revert. This awakening usually comes after realizing the cycle that once worked for them has now become a liability. The thoughts are still there but the action to follow through is weighed and considered before it is executed. Does this really mean a person has changed?
Experience has taught me people usually show you what THEY want you to see, especially as a first impression. We all make an effort to put our best foot forward, sometimes without even thinking, we just do. We’re conditioned and know exactly which words to say and which to avoid. Everything is carefully crafted, we don’t dare stray from the script, or refuse to elaborate on anything that is less than flattering to our image.
It could be the person you think has changed just got tired of the status quo and one day decided to let loose the wild creativity they sat on for years, afraid of being judged. Maybe what is perceived as a person changing is someone finally being at peace with who they are and what they stand for. There is a possibility change is really just a person’s ability to reach deep in oneself and pull out the character that was always there, lurking, hidden, waiting for the chance to make their big reveal.
The choice is yours
I strongly believe people always have a choice; they could choose to do good or choose to do bad. We are all a couple of choices away from being either/or, even though we may only show a predisposition to one. When we see qualities in someone we never saw before, it’s easy to say they have changed, when in fact it is more probable those qualities have be lying dormant all along.
Making better choices goes hand in hand with growing up and being true to yourself. It can be illusive to some because their choices support a lifestyle they are not ready to leave behind. Thinking about the consequences is not always convenient, but it is the best way to lessen any future headaches.
So maybe a leopard doesn’t change it’s spots, it chooses to conceal or reveal them as needed. Our choices are always self-serving. We may trip over a few bad choices, but the experience teaches us immediate gratification usually comes with a price. Whether or not we want to pay it is the question. As for me, the older I get, the more I realize I prefer to save.