We have all heard the phrase, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” There are two points I would like to make about this statement.
If you are the handler, you cannot make the horse drink. You can lead it to water and do everything to encourage the horse to drink, but you cannot force it to do so. In the same way, you can provide information, education, resources, assistance, and encouragement to others, but you cannot make them learn and you cannot make them change. It has to be their decision to learn and change.
There might come a time with you need to decide that it is just not worth trying to get someone to “drink” any more. You might decide that your time and effort is better spent where it will make a difference.
Let’s look at this from a different perspective. What do you do when you are the “horse?” If someone leads you to water, do you drink? If someone is offering you information, education, resources, assistance, and encouragement, do you learn and change? Or do you refuse? Why?
If you can determine the real reasons you do not want to learn and change when given the opportunity, you might discover the hurdles that are reining you in from achieving the professional and personal success that you desire.