The Ripple Effect of Being a Gentleman
3 Tips for Changing Societyby Juan Sepúlveda If you found the Gentlemen's Brotherhood, perhaps you agree with me that manners are not as common as they once were. And if you're a man of action, maybe you want to see change happen in society. But, where do you even start? If you really want to make a change in society, what can you do? I like to think of change in society as the ripples effect of throwing a stone in a pond. The ripples begin just as a single point, but they continue expanding far beyond that initial point of impact. This means that just a little bit of a change in a man's behavior can end up having a great impact society as a whole. That change begins with you. You can't change society by yourself, but yes, the one thing you can control is yourself. When you make a decision to start changing the way you behave, then you start a chain reaction, like the ripples on that Lake, which begin at one point. It's the little changes you make in your life that start making a difference in the people that surrounds you. That's when real change starts to happen! Because when you start changing yourself and you start making adjustments to the way you behave and in the way you treat people, then the people around you begin to notice. Those ever-expanding circles become your family. Your behavior now affects your family directly, then it continues to expand and begins influencing your community, then those ripples continue to expand until you affect society as a whole. That is the real ever-expanding ripple effect. But it starts with you. Getting frustrated by not seeing the expected change in society is not going to do anything for you; It's not going to do anything for anybody.
Today I want to share three things with you that can help you begin that ripple effect.
No. 1 -Look insideBeing introspective is the number one thing you can do to make any change happen in the world because you are the only person of whom you are in control. Your behavior, your reactions, everything that has to do with you, you are the only person who has control over it. So, looking inside yourself gives you the opportunity to know who you are; To know what are the things that really motivate you. What are the things that upset you? What are the things that you're doing, which you recognize are not right? By looking inside yourself, you can make a genuine assessment of the things that are good and the things that are bad. In the process of looking inside, I would recommend doing a concrete action. I recommend writing a list. By looking inside of yourself you can take inventory of those things that motivate you and the things that upset you, or the things that make you happy and the things that make you angry. Start a list because that's when you can then visually have inventory; Have a good understanding of those things. Change has to start somewhere, so it might as well start one step at a time. Of the list that you compile of the things that you recognize that you could improve upon, pick one. You don't have to be harsh on yourself, you need to just be honest and don't beat yourself up about it. I'm not perfect, you're not perfect, nobody we know is perfect, but being honest with ourselves is the effort that moves us towards perfection; That's what sets a gentleman apart. Selecting that one thing you can change is that positive step in the right direction to make real lasting change.
No. 2 look outsideAfter you've been introspective, you've looked inside yourself and found what you think are areas of improvement for yourself, now it's time for you to look outside. Reach out to somebody you trust, reach out to someone you love and respect. Or someone who loves and respects you. This is a good way for you to find an honest assessment from an outside perspective. There may be things you are doing that you don't consider to be negative or you don't consider them to have a negative impact on the people that surround you but what better way to find out than by asking. When you go outside yourself and speak to somebody and ask them for their opinion, let them know what you're trying to do. Let them know that you want to be critical of yourself in a way that helps you understand the flaws or the areas of improvement that you have. These people, if they really respect you, if they really love you they will understand and try to help you as best as possible. You can imagine, that some people might be a little reluctant to be open in their feedback. Be kind to them; Be understanding that it's not a very easy thing to do to tell someone to their face what their flaws are. Even if you disagree with their assessment just take it in write it down and don't act defensively. Later, in your moment of solitude, in a moment in which you could be honest and calm and introspective again, try to see is there any validity to their claim. After all, you're the one asking for help and they're trying to give it to you. Here you give them an opportunity to really be effective in your life. Another way to look outside for understanding of the areas in which you could be a better gentleman is to think of the times in which other people have been upset at you. Have you been in a situation when someone is completely angry at you? disappointed in you? Try to think of what caused that. Was that something of which you had control?Was it a situation which you could have avoided if you had a little bit more tact or a little bit more compassion, empathy, or sympathy? That is one way in which you can look outside of yourself, see the impact you've had on other people, and recognize all the things you might have done differently to bring about a better outcome.
No. 3 Make a PlanNow that you have been introspective and you have reached outside of yourself, it's time to make a plan of action. Take what you've learned from looking inside yourself and take what you've learned from looking outside yourself and prioritize the lessons. This is the most important component because just knowing what needs improvement is not enough. Having a concrete plan of action, that's what's going to allow you to take concrete steps, firm steps in the right direction of becoming a better gentleman. How do you do this? First, look at the list, which one of your observations had the biggest impact on the people that surround you? Which one of these observations had the biggest negative impact in your own life? Now that you have gathered all the items and you looked at each one and assigned a level of importance to them, now you can take concrete action with them. Let's say for example the number one thing that is having a negative impact on your life and the life of the people around you is your anger management. If you easily fly off the handle, get angry out of little things, it's important that you focus on tackling that negative reaction. Now you can look at what is making you angry? why are you losing your temper? If you identify what the root cause of these reactions is, whether it is a lack of rest; whether it's that nutrition, whether it is that you procrastinate on important things and not deal with them at the moment, finding what the root causes of this anger or this explosive reaction to things now we'll give you an indication of what you need to do. What's the new course of action? Here in the gentleman's Brotherhood, I want to provide tools of value to you. As I discover things in my own life and in the life of the people around me, I'll derive all the lessons necessary to help you join me in this journey to become a better gentleman; To improve with every step. The steps necessary for us to become better gentlemen, most of them we already know. It's just a matter of being honest with ourselves and setting a course of action to really make those happen.
Juan Sepulveda has dedicated his life to helping others take steps towards becoming the best version possible of themselves. For over a decade, he has been using his words and his paint brushes to share stories that can inspire people to live a life worth emulating. As an award-winning speaker, Juan Sepulveda is regularly invited to conferences and organizations to deliver his presentations about manners, civility, personal development, relationship building, effective customer service, and inspiring leadership. As a result of his efforts to help good men become even greater men, In 2014 he received the highest title of honor bestowed upon a civilian by the Governor of Kentucky and was commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel. He is the founder of The Gentlemen’s Brotherhood, a company dedicated to reviving interest in The Lost Art of The Gentleman.
Photo Credits: The Ripple Effect by Izee, Licensed under CC by 2.0