Saturday, September 30, 2006

How To Stop Being Judgmental Of People And Situations

Personally, I find this a really difficult habit to break, because it’s so easy to judge a person or situation when I’m unsure of what’s really happening, e.g. a friend doesn’t call when they say they will, someone you’re meeting doesn’t turn up and you’re unable to contact them, you make a negative assessment of someone (or a situation) based on third party information, and so on. How easy is it to slander like this? All too easy, I think, because it’s human nature. And we can let it escalate by casting our mind back over all the occasions when this same person or organisation disappointed us before. Yet, how do we really know what’s going on behind the scenes, or what that person is going through, etc? In most cases we can’t, so we make a guess, otherwise known as a judgment. And all too often these are negative and slanderous, yet they’re often dumbfounded.

INQUIRY: How do we go about transforming this? Is it a case of getting in the routine of recognising when you’re doing it, and stopping it before it continues, i.e. letting go of the judgment and getting on with things?

For the next seven days, make a determination not to judge people and situations. That doesn’t mean adopting a carefree attitude, instead it means either releasing the whole process altogether, or replacing it with compassion and understanding. Have a look at where the other party is coming from? What are they going through?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Does The Universe Have A Life-Support System?

It’s been mentioned elsewhere on this site that we’re living in a world of decline, and it’s our fault, nobody else’s. By the way, that’s a collective “our” on behalf of humanity, not a finger-pointing exercise. And there is evidence that those who are standing up and making a difference, i.e. creating good causes, are the ones receiving great benefit and opportunity. Therefore, is it fair to accept the universe as having a life-support system that recognises these very actions, and actively supports and encourages those making them by “rewarding” them with manifesting good effects? In other words, it’s another take on the adage, “you reap what you sow.”

What do you think?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sometimes It's Better To Admit You Just Don't Know

For years I was guilty of making out I knew more than I did. Sometimes it was a case of trying to impress, other times it was not wanting to admit I was wrong, and other times it was not wanting to appear ignorant about a topic or situation. Yet on just about every occassion I was perfectly aware of what I was doing but felt unable to prevent it. It felt as though I had to provide this 'cover' for fear of being found out. Yet all it was doing was compounding the issue by drawing attention to that very weakness. In worst-case scenarios it would lead me to fighting my corner even when I knew I was absolutely in the wrong, and with nothing to substantiate my argument with. All it did was create a layer of arrogance to paper over the insecurity, yet I did little to fix it.

It wasn't until four years ago when my partner at the time made it abundantly clear to me how irritating it was, that I decided it had to stop. Thankfully her words resonated enough for me to literally make the shift overnight. With immediacy I went from saying, "I know," to offering a curteous acknowledgement; and from making out I knew something I quite clearly didn't to offering something intuitive or simply admitting I really didn't know.

To begin with it was strange because it felt awkward to 'display' such a vulnerability. But over time, that in itself became the benefit because it was actually a relief not to have to pretend anymore. A self-imposed weight had been lifted from my shoulders and it felt great. I could even say it grounded me in a way. And ever since, I've noticed how many other people behave in exactly the same way. And guess what ... it irritates me too! But I also undertand where they're coming from because I was in that same place - that makes a difference.

INQUIRY: How often do you say "I know" when being 'corrected' by someone more knowledgeable who is just trying to help? How often do you try to make out you know or understand something when really you don't? How much awareness of this do you have, and how do you feel when it just blurts out?

ACTION: For the next seven days, do the following and notice how different you feel; instead of saying, "I know," when offered correct 'advice' by someone, acknowledge them; instead of coming up with a 'smart' reply or comment when pretending you know something, let go of the pretense and admit you just don't know. You may find it far more liberating than you thought ... and it will make a difference to the way you see yourself and the way others see you too.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Goals And Determinations - How Measurable Should They Be?

I’ve been wondering lately if goals and determinations are one and the same. Goals to me are something you aspire to achieve – or rather, you want to achieve – whereas determinations are something you will achieve. Perhaps it’s a mindset thing? Either way, I know in myself I’m very determined to achieve my goals, which may well mean they’re not one in the same, i.e. the level of determination you call upon defines the nature of achieving your goal? Perhaps that in itself is something of an answer, hmm?

Then there’s the difference between making your goal/determination general and specific. For example, let’s say you believe you’re worthy of a pay rise – do you say to yourself, “I want to be earning more money in a couple of months,” or do you say, “I am determined by July 22nd, to be offered a £500/month pay-rise as of August’s payroll.” Alternatively, are you one of those who says, “By August, I will be earning a salary commensurate with the effort I put in and the value I create?” Hmm, that last one may require some thought.

INQUIRY: List some of the goals and determinations you have in mind for the next week, month and year, (and beyond if you like). How measurable are they? How will you know when you’ve achieved or exceeded them? And what motivates you to achieve them?

BTW, the Japanese word for determination is “decision”. Have a think about how this impacts the process of achievement.