“Am I here to prove how much I already know or am I here to glean whatever I can from this moment in order to collect all of the tools I need to be happy and successful?
“Am I here to look smart or become smarter? Am I here to look good or become better?”
“Am I here to defend my particular position as the one absolute truth or am I here to ensure that I walk away from this encounter a more enlightened person?”
“Am I here for the purpose of being right inside of my own head or am I here to get things done and procure what I want out of life?”
“Am I here to show how many mistakes, typos, wrong notes, technical errors, and personality flaws I can find or am I here to get whatever I came to get when I decided it would be worth my time to participate in this particular experience?”
In my daily life, I do the best I can to emphasize the qualities in others that I can feel genuine appreciation for. Is this because I’m open-minded and compassionate?
It’s because I’m extremely passionate about my personal happiness, my dreams, and my overall health.
It’s because I value myself and what I want to create more than I value seeing the deficiencies in other people’s personalities and positions.
If we find ourselves being aware of someone who seems to have glaring imperfections, that’s not our problem. Those glaring imperfections are just more bodyguards attempting to keep us from discovering 2 fundamental truths: 1) that we each have the power to be the dominant creative forces in our own lives and 2) we have the ability to integrate all of our experiences into the process of creating what we want.
If we spend time assessing and discussing what we think other people’s issues are, our valuable energy is exhausted on something other than on what we want to create. When that happens, the bodyguards win. If, on the other hand, we can interact with such people and gain a modicum of tangible or intangible value from the encounter, we win every time.
Doing this is sometimes more difficult than it appears. We often feel as if the fate of the planet is dependent on our opinions. We must take the risk of believing that our decision to bypass a chance to point out something wrong will not result in the apocalypse. This risk pays off greatly in the form of exponential increases in knowledge. You simply learn more at a faster pace by listening for the things you do agree with than by searching for the elements you don’t endorse. Selective abstinence from criticism does wonders for a person’s competence.
Furthermore, we begin to notice that the world seems to move along just fine, perhaps even better, in the absence of our fault finding. But more importantly, our productivity levels, personal happiness, and physical health vastly increases from practicing this perspective. When the bulk of our attention is on what we appreciate, we feel more inspired, confident, and stress-free.
“But wait a minute, T.K.?”
“Shouldn’t we be honest about other people’s flaws? Isn’t a true friend the kind of person who criticizes in order to help his loved ones improve?”
In my next edition of “T.K.’s Two Cents”, I’ll tackle those very questions.
We can call this post, “T.K.’s One Cent Piece.” I’ll give you the other penny tomorrow. Stay tuned and…