the only behaviour you control is your own

Martin Humphries

“Some of us love the idea of changing other people, and spend excessive amounts of time and energy trying to do just that, getting angry, upset or frustrated if they don’t change.”

Learning to process behaviour, your own and that of those around you, in the moment, is not easy. And, if you’re honest, are you happy with your behaviour? All of the time? What about other people’s? What about that driver who cut you up at the lights the other day, and that idiot from Accounts?

Martin Humphries is a man familiar with bad behaviour – his own (at times), and that of everybody else (of course) – and admits he was of the opinion it was everybody else who needed to change to make his life better, and not he himself.

Recognising that his behaviour was not always doing him any favours, and conscious of behaviour he admired in others, he made it his ambition to better manage what were often split-second reactions to people and events, for good or for bad. As a consequence, he came to the realisation: the only behaviour we can actually control is our own.

“But is abandoning our need to change everybody else, and learning to control our own behaviour, the fix for everything?”


  • Are you happy with your behaviour all the time?
  • When was the last time you took a risk?
  • Is there one aspect of your behaviour you would like to improve?
  • When was the last time you made an unfair judgment about a person?
  • When was the last time you blamed someone else for things going wrong?
  • Have you recently damaged a relationship through poor behaviour?
  • Are you tired of feeling a victim to other people’s opinions of you?
  • Are you aware of how much your thoughts affect your mood?
  • Has criticism or judgment from the past hindered who you are in the present?
  • Are you quick to get angry or upset, and do you think this is beneficial?
  • Do you ever compliment people you meet, or do you hold back?
  • If you were in an aeroplane, who would you trust to pack your parachute?
  • Do you think you are a generous person?
  • How could you be a little more generous with what you have?
  • Do you actually trust yourself to make decisions, small or big?
  • When was the last time you voiced your opinion?
  • Do you often find yourself reaching different conclusions to everyone else?
  • Do you know anyone who is a good listener?
  • How do you think people feel when you have a conversation with them?
  • Are you really quick to judge the people you love in your life?
  • If you’re completely honest, what are your weaknesses?
  • How would you like to be remembered?
  • Do you know how easy it is for you, and your children, to learn CPR?

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