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Personal Development: Is it conservative or liberal?

It’s neither.

Personal development is personal, not political.

The principles of self-determinism are neither the invention nor the property of any bureaucrat, elected official, or party system.

The core catalyst in the actualization of human potential is the will to be free in one’s mind prior to, and independently of, any organizational commitments, institutional memberships, and political ideologies.

Life, liberty, and the proclivity to pursue happiness existed long before the first man-made governments and they will endure long after man-made governments fall away.

Politics is not the mother of humanity’s brilliance and autonomy; it is, at it’s best, a partial, secondary, temporary, and imperfect expression of the freedom and creative prowess that belongs innately to the human spirit.

All lasting change begins not with politics, but with the recognition that we are the power upon which politics depend.

Wherever we go from there, we go aware.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

How to never argue with an “idiot” again

Once upon a time, I got into a heated argument with an “idiot.”

I remember thinking to myself, “what an idiot this guy is” for not agreeing with my point and for debating in what I perceived to be such an unfair manner.

Then, an internal voice broke through and said, “If you’re genuinely convinced that the person you’re arguing with is an idiot, what does it say about YOU when YOU spend YOUR time debating someone YOU believe is an idiot?”

The question was so compelling that I knew I only had two options: 1) I needed to drop the conversation or risk being the very kind of idiot I despised or 2) If I wanted to continue my conversation without being a hypocrite, I needed to drop the assumption that the person I was voluntarily engaging was actually an idiot.

I decided to go with option #2. Surprisingly, the energy of the conversation completely turned around.

But at that point, it really didn’t matter what choice I went with. My life had already been permanently changed. I was free forever from feeling like I was stuck in unpleasant conversations with “idiots.”

I knew that I could never be the victim of anything other than my own choices and my own judgments.

Here’s today’s two cents on how you can quickly eliminate a significant percentage of unpleasant conversations from your life:

Stop thinking of people as idiots or stop voluntarily interacting with the people you insist on perceiving as idiots.

If you respect the person, respectfully engage them.

If not, terminate the conversation and move on.

Otherwise, you’re just asking for an opportunity to victimize yourself.

At least that’s the way I see it.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

A quick and easy way to start a quarrel

Yesterday’s post was about “A quick and easy way to eliminate quarrelling.” If you’d like, you can read it here.

In the name of being “objective”, I decided to do the reverse today. Sometimes, it helps to see an issue from both sides.

So, if you’re interested in destroying your relationships and creating conflict wherever you go, here are some surefire guidelines:

For starters, don’t talk about your actual needs.

Talk about how horrible it is that you even need to have a conversation with the other party about your needs in the first place. Emphasize how insensitive and unloving they are for needing to be informed about this need. Be sure to inform them of how much better you think your life would be if you didn’t have to use up your valuable time and energy “educating” them.

Talk about how horrible of a person they are for all the times in the past when they failed to recognize or meet your needs.

Talk about how horrible of a person they are for not understanding why you care about your needs so much. Don’t let them get away with merely being willing to compromise. Require them to agree with you about how much of an idiot you think they are.

Talk about how horrible of a person they are for not feeling the proper emotions when you inform them of your needs. At this point, they may try to shift the focus from how they feel to how passionate they are about meeting your needs anyway. Don’t allow this. Sit there and harp on them until they actually evoke the same emotions as you.

Talk about how horrible of a person they are for not needing the same things you need. Be amazed and astounded by the fact that they understand the concepts of love, friendship, and support in a way that’s different from you.

Whatever you do, don’t treat the other party as if they’re actually interested in a solution.

Accept as axiomatic that they don’t really care about you, and refuse to consider any of their past sacrifices or good deeds as evidence to the contrary.

Assume from the outset that they WANT to have a difficult time with you.

If they claim to have good intentions or sincere motives, make them prove it with the highest form of empirical evidence. Do NOT grant them the benefit of a doubt EVEN IF they’ve been your friend, customer, partner, or spouse for years.

If you follow the above advice, you shouldn’t have a difficult time starting a quarrel with anyone at anytime.

A quick and easy way to eliminate quarrelling

It is nearly impossible to get into a heated argument with your loved ones if, as a general rule of thumb, you commit to ALWAYS speaking to the other party as if they have the same amount of intelligence and integrity as you.

Most quarrels have less to do with the actual differences in our opinions, and more to do with our tendency to interpret those differences as evidence that others are not as ethical, reasonable, or loving as we are.

Self-righteousness, not disagreement, is the greater enemy of conflict resolution.

The solution lies in a simple insight Ram Dass taught his students: “we can be right without being righteous about it.”

We can perceive what we perceive without placing ourselves on a pedestal for having the particular vantage point we have.

We can discuss our issues without questioning, mocking, or attacking the sensibility, sensitivity, and sincerity of the ones with whom we are in conflict.

Cooperation and compromise can be surprisingly easy to obtain when we drop the habit of engaging those who see things differently as if we’re smarter, superior, or saintlier.

At least that’s the way I see it.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

Good begins with “go”

good“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” -Zig Ziglar

If your creative ideas are bad, that’s not a good reason to STOP, that’s THE reason to START.

Ideas don’t get better by hiding them in your head.

Ideas move from bad through better to good by engaging them, using them, playing with them, testing them, and tweaking them,

Don’t smother your creative impulses under the blankets of shame, self-censorship, and suppression.

Let your ideas breathe.

That’s the only way they’ll ever come alive.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

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