Do what you want others to do

There’s a story about Mahatma Ghandi, that he was approached by a woman who asked him to treat her sick child; he recognised that the child had diabetes and that it should stop eating sugar, but instead of telling her there and then, he sent her away and told her to return in two weeks. During that time he stopped eating sugar himself, and when the woman and child returned, he told the child to stop eating sugar.

Do it yourself first, and you’ll be amazed
at how quickly others get the message

There’s that hoary old saying, ‘Do as I say, not as I do,’ that people use when they want their children, partners, colleagues, or staff to conform to their wishes, and they do not live up to the requirement themselves. Well, if you’re using that, or applying it, you should not wonder if people don’t comply with your requests. Ghandi was all, ‘Do as I do,’ and he took this pretty seriously, as you can see. Now if power is proportional to how many people you’re able to influence, Ghandi was one of the most powerful people in history – certainly the most powerful who did not use a government or military force to achieve his influence. Perhaps we should take him seriously.

So the next time you want someone to change a behaviour, you’ll find it somewhere in your own life, you can be sure. Do it yourself first and you’ll be amazed at how quickly the others get the message. Plus you’ll know in yourself what it takes, and will be able to guide the other person to achieve it.