“You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink” – Anon

Meaning: You can present someone with an opportunity, but you cannot force him or her to take advantage of it. I find this old phrase applying to a lot of situations in my life.

If someone is struggling and in pain, and you know exactly what they need to do to stop the pain, you just can’t force them to do it, no matter how nicely you try. And even if you did force them, it wouldn’t last because it wasn’t their idea. (The main idea in the film Inception). It’s like that kids story about the sun and the wind making a bet to take a travelers coat off.

You can’t make anyone do anything, and it feels so much nicer when they decide to do things on their own, making decisions based on their own view of reality in situations. Like staying off the drink, coming with you on a trip or to see a film or band, going to therapy. I wouldn’t enjoy it if I knew they only came because I made them. Suggesting an idea is great, but then it’s up to them what they do with it and you accept and respect them for having different opinions and feelings towards things that you might love.

If you want to get someone to do something, there’s so many different ways to get them to do it. Some of which are much better and healthier for relationships and stress levels. I would start by giving them respect and being honest and genuine and accepting that you can’t control the outcome but you can state your intentions and feelings or thoughts. I guess it’s being a good leader which is a whole different post. But just know that you can lead a person to something that’s great, but you can’t make them see it’s great and take it.


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I’d love to hear comments – whether it’s good or bad. All opinions are valid 🙂


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