Do people really change or do they make better choices?

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?

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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.


16 thoughts on “Do people really change or do they make better choices?

  1. I was just having this conversation with one of my friends earlier today! I love what you said about “people being at peace with who they are and what they stand for.” Insecurity can bring out a lot in people. When they reach a point and feel secure…I definitely think a chance can happen in them. Great Post! Thanks for sharing =)

  2. I agree, people show you what they want you to see. Insecurity plays a big part and it’s sad that most people can be disingenuous.

    1. Thanks for commenting Billy, what is truly sad is how automatically disingenuous some people are without even knowing it.

  3. Interesting article, thanks!

    The research that has been done on how to effectively create habits suggest that change is far from easy. It takes time, commitment, repetition, and reward. Most of the time, the impulse to make a change is only that — an impulse — and the necessary planning and execution don’t happen.

  4. Interesting read! I agree that we don’t really change. That which is us cannot truly be changed. It is very true that we conceal or reveal our real nature depending on the situation.

  5. I believe people DO and CAN change. Change is a process and making better decisions to make lifestyle and/or behavioral changes IS changing who they are – changing who they once were into someone better. Doing a bad thing doesn’t make you a bad person. That’s the miracle of the Lord’s forgiveness. Strive each day to make positive changes – be better than you were yesterday – and you will see the blessings in your life! Making better decisions and choosing to go down a different path is changing who you are. It goes hand in hand!

  6. This was truly beautifully written. I believe people change because of the choices they make…after all what was that quote by Gandhi? Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words – your words become your behaviour which becomes your habits, values and then destiny. So if you make the choice to keep thoughts positive you can learn to change into a more positive being. Thank you for sharing your thoughts <3

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