Who Said that a Leopard Can’t Change its Spots?

It is no coincidence that I’m writing this blog as summer gives way to autumn heralding those dark, dank and dreary November evenings that I dislike so much. It is, for me, often a time for reflection. In my case of a life that is starting to become the one that I always wanted to it to be and that, I hope, will lead me on to greater things. Now how satisfying is that?

You see, I used to be a person who ploughed on with life whatever; an admirable course of action you might think. After all, what better response could there be to whatever life throws at you than to just carry on regardless? Indeed, there is still a part of me that, even today, responds to problems with, “Sod you, you won’t beat me” as I knuckle down and overcome them. It is nothing else if not satisfying when you come out the other side.

However, more so these days, there is also another side of me that kicks into place during these times and it’s the one where I consider what got me into this mess in the first place. It can be less exhilarating than the sheer bloody mindedness of the first approach; however, it can be more intellectually satisfying and, in the longer term, more rewarding. After all, knowing the reasons for your actions should mean that you don’t repeat the behaviour that led to your current circumstances. It can also mean that you are likely to be less judgmental of others and their role in your misfortune; something I have been prone to in the past.

Now, apart from the fact that the latter isn’t a particularly pleasant trait, at the time it can be quite satisfying. However, I’ve found that, as well as helping you to gloss over the real issues, it can bring its own problems. You see, no matter how hard you try, you are unlikely to change other peoples’ behavior. Consider, for example, how you feel when people keep telling you what you should do! However, what you can do is change yourself and your response and that is likely to be far more rewarding; as it has been more me. Indeed, I’ve found that the negativity that can be involved in blaming others can inhibit the positivity that comes from sorting yourself out. Even more, it is no coincidence that, by this means, I’m now doing many of those things that I always dreamt of and share my life with someone who is mutually supportive so that we help one another. Now how good is that?

So, the next time someone tells you that a leopard can’t change its spots, point out that those spots are only a camouflage and, as such, skin deep. The real leopard lives within and it probably has no idea that it’s spotted or why. Anyway, you’re not a leopard.

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