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Jan 13, 2013
Presented by
Adam Carolla

Only one species on the planet can change itself for the better. You belong to that species. Don't waste the opportunity! Live, learn, grow.

I’d like to talk about ‘Emotional Growth’, aka ‘Change’, the greatest part about being a human being that we completely ignore. If you think about it, every other species on the planet is unable to change. Polar bears, they can’t change. Actually, you can ask. No, you know what, don’t bother. They’ll eat you.

I mean, really. Nothing else on the planet can change but us. We can change. It’s the greatest thing about being a human being, yet we squander it every single day. How many people do you know that are exactly the same as they were in high school? And by the way that’s always bad. Even if you were good in high school, not changing is bad. But most of the people I know started off bad. And whatever habits they had, good or bad, or idiosyncratic behavior, they’re taking it straight to the grave.

The only way you can change (and believe you me, everybody around you wants you to change in some way, shape, or form -- that’s the sad part). Yes, we would all love you to change, and the only way you can change is through internalizing.

The way you internalize is, just about everything that happens in your life, you make yourself responsible. And it’s easy to do -- it’s painful to do, it’s rarely done, but here’s how you do it.

Let’s just say I wanted some FroYo. And by the way, how lazy are we that we can’t even say ‘Zen’ and ‘Gurt’. Let’s just I wanted some frozen yogurt. And I got in my car, and I went up the street, and I went to the frozen yogurt place, and it was closed. Now, I could pound on the glass and throw my hands up to the heavens and scream “WHY?” It’s noon. It’s Tuesday. It’s the middle of the summer. You guys should be open. This is an outrage. Or, I can think, “You know what? I should have called first.” Because the only way I can get anything out of this experience is by turning it to myself and on myself and internalizing. And I’m not saying I’m a bad man or should be incarcerated for not calling them first. But if I can get into the habit of making almost everything my -- not fault -- but responsibility, then I can use what was a wasted trip across town into a learning experience. 

Whether it’s riding a motorcycle with no helmet or going to the FroYo place and finding it’s not open, you are the first person that makes that decision. And if you’re going to blame your teachers, meaning I got an ‘F’ because they don’t like me. Or you’re going to blame your girlfriend or boyfriend “they don’t listen”, “they don’t understand”, “every guy I meet is in love with himself and never listens”. Well what... every guy you meet. What’s the one constant in this equation? Well, that would be YOU. So please find a mirror and start looking into it.

Change as a human being should not be something we shun. It should be something we embrace. And it is humbling, and it doesn’t feel good. But it’s the greatest gift we have as human beings.

Again, salamanders and koala bears -- although what would you change about a koala bear, they’re so squeezable, those guys -- they don’t have a choice! We can go from unemployable, horrible, uneducated to God’s gift to humanity with just a little something called change and first internalizing.

I’m Adam Carolla for Prager University.

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