This blog can’t change your life. I know, I know, I bet I led you to believe that this time it would be different, and this was the blog that would fix you. I may have even directly claimed that it would change your life. I have? Huh. OK, then – let me be more specific. Reading this blog won’t change anything for you. Is that better?

Your friends can’t change your life for you, either, although it’s true that choosing your friends can make a huge difference to your life’s direction. I’ve heard it said many times that you become the average of the five or so people you spend the most time with, whether that’s in your attitude, your success, your values, or almost anything. So if you’re interested in making a difference in your life, choose your friends wisely. But know that they won’t be able to do this for you either.

Circumstances can change your life, but you certainly can’t count on them to change it in the right direction. You don’t have any control over when a change might happen, or what it is, any more than a ping-pong ball can control when it’s hit. Unlike a ping-pong ball, although you can’t change the circumstances themselves, you can absolutely change how they affect your mood and your actions afterwards. Even so, it’s best not to count on random events to get you in the direction you want to go in, because you’re just as likely (if not more) to be sent somewhere you don’t want to go.

Even if you believe in a higher power that gives you the ability to change, most traditions would hold that this power will only actually change you in any meaningful way if you allow it to. So the thing is – really, only you can actually change your life in any specific way.

Better than that, you can actually see a life change even when nothing else changes.

What? Let’s try that again.

Even if your life (the external situation, circumstances, how people treat you) doesn’t change at all, but your attitude to life is different, then I’m saying that your life would have changed.

If you’ve ever been in love and then dumped, you will know this can be true. You could have the same day, with the same weather, and one day is bliss and the next is miserable. All because of what’s going on inside you.

So it’s really your attitude, your mindset, that will make the biggest difference. People who have been told that they may never walk again have walked within weeks. Which ones? The ones who decided they would. On the other hand, we all know people who are capable of great things but who have given up because they thought they couldn’t do it. We may even see ourselves in this last sentence. I know I do. (And yes, I count you as ‘capable of great things’ even if you can’t see it yourself right now. More on that another day.)

You are where it begins. Sure, you’ll need to lean on people, and learn to take things in your stride, but you need to decide that this is what you want – to know yourself and believe good things about you. Because even if your outer life doesn’t get better straight away, your life – how you feel and how you experience it – will change for the better.