‘Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.’ – Lao Tzu
In this piece, I offer a model that will assist you to create ‘more’ and prosper in your life. I am certain that we have all been told to learn (educate ourselves) in order to be successful. The sad reality is that only around 2% of the population is indeed successful and the reasons are simple, they do things differently.
So, allow me to reach out to you through this work and I hope it will trigger a different line of thinking as you introspect and work on attaining results.
While our mind has the ability to see multiple perspectives, as human beings, we naturally think in terms of either/or. i.e: Good/Bad, Right/Wrong, I like them/I don’t like them and I like this/I don’t like this. These are common positions we take in our everyday unchallenged thinking.
The moment we take a position, we automatically create a barrier to see other perspectives and, as a result, we limit our view and therefore our choices. Increase your self-awareness by first noticing the position you take, and if you are committed to expanding your view, and therefore your choices, you can do so by asking the following questions:
- What is it I’m not seeing?
- How could I see this differently?
- How could I grow from this?
- How is this serving me?
- What is the opportunity/learning for me?
As human beings, it is our nature to want to be right! We’ve all heard the saying, “Do you want to be happy or do you want to be right?” Because we love our own ideas and opinions, we hang on to them at the expense of our relationships. We repeatedly cause unwanted dynamics and breakdowns in our communication:
- We automatically take positions in our listening
- We automatically listen through a filter for agreement
- If we don’t hear agreement, we simply listen less; if at all
Like the monkeys with their bananas, we are the same with our ideas — we love our own ideas and we tend to hang on to them at all costs!
Live in the Present
In many instances, we run from one conversation, meeting, interaction or activity to another; with a growing list of competing demands on our mind. We rob ourselves of the present moment, by living in the past or in the future.
Be here now, and nowhere else! – Susan Scott.
1, 2, 3: Now!™ says the following:
- Stop – As you leave the last time block (whatever you did), take stock of your thoughts, feelings and attitude
- Identify the Next Time Block – As you enter the next time block, consider who and what this involves; presence of your thoughts, feelings and attitude. What do you think? What do you feel? What is your attitude? Describe your energy state.
- Create an intention/vision of what you are committed to accomplishing in this next block of time Future: Love to/Want to… Be, Do, Have, etc. Present: I am… Be, Do, Have, etc.
Be Responsible and Accountable
I have realized that a lot of us do not want to take responsibility, we simply avoid it at all cost.
In relationships, where do you draw the line in the sand as to who is responsible and to what degree? What’s your number? 50-50? How do you draw the line?
How would your life be different if you lived as though you are 100% responsible for the quality of your decisions and relationships and therefore your life? Be thoughtful here; as this isn’t a stay on the surface answer. Consider the following:
- Identify a situation or relationship you are struggling with
- Determine whether you are living on the Accountability or Victim side regarding a situation or relationship
- Identify an action you can take to shift into the accountability loop. (What could you give up or accept or let go of or forgive, etc.?)
- Take action – by when?
Accountability is taking actions consistent with our desired outcomes and doing what you say you are going to do.
Live with Integrity
Without being a man or woman of integrity, you can forget about being a leader. And, being a person of integrity is a never-ending endeavor. Being a person of integrity is a mountain with no top – you have to learn to love the climb. – Werner Erhard
Integrity helps you to grow your: Self-esteem, Self -confidence, Credibility, Trust and Emotional Capital.
In 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey coined the phrase “emotional bank account”. He says our interactions either cause a deposit or withdrawal of trust; and that with relationship capital, as he calls it, the withdrawals are often larger than deposits. In other words, honoring our word with others grows or diminished our credibility and trust.
Whether with ourselves or others, integrity creates the conditions for workability.
While many people claim that honesty is one of their core values, there are few people who can say they are honest in their relationships with their thoughts and feelings, particularly in the face of critical issues.
Common statements I hear are, “I can’t be myself with XYZ” or “I feel constrained around XYZ”. And so you have an experience of being constrained and you have a view about that person, and; with that person you pretend it’s all good. You know, when you put icing sugar on mud pie, it’s still mud pie!
Look at your relationships and identify the ones where you have the disempowering thoughts and feelings. Where are you blaming them for not being free to be yourself? You need to be masterful here…
Whether a productive or unproductive behavior or thought, there are payoffs/benefits and it’ll costs you something. The first step towards being real is being honest with yourself about the context running you.
Acknowledgements: The Change Forum