POSSIBLE AND IMPOSSIBLE RELATIONSHIPS

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All the possible and impossible situations in life are profoundly influenced by the relationships we have with others and ourselves. We get an operating manual with things like computers and cars, but we don’t get an operating manual when it comes to relationships. This can be a tremendous drawback since just about everything we do involve relationships other people.

Our ability to interface well with others is probably the greatest thing we can master in life. Not only is it important regarding how we interface, but how we connect or bond with others emotionally. The human connection can limit us, motivate us, control us, or influence our choices because of the emotional or psychological nature of the relationship.

There are many different types of relationships including friends, family, lovers, social, business, coworkers, and, more importantly, ourselves that contribute in a unique way to our ability to turn the impossible into the possible.

We can either let relationships get in our way, or we can let them take us right to the top. Relationships influence our success or our lack of success. Successful people make it a point to associate with other successful people, which helps them to become more successful. Unsuccessful people do the same thing, only they associate with other unsuccessful people. This perpetuates their own game of impossibility, whether they are aware of it or not.

RELATIONSHIPS ARE EVERLASTING

We can be certain of the fact that relationships never end. The form changes, but the relationship remains forever. No matter how angry, hurt, or separated we feel from someone we have had a relationship with, the human spirit or shared oneness goes on forever.

Because our Greater Self is a part of the Infinite Oneness, we always have a relationship with everyone. We are related, whether we are aware of it or not. When we get into a relationship, all we are doing is acknowledging this connection. The relationship then takes on a certain form.

In reality, we can never begin or end a relationship with anyone; we can only acknowledge or change the form. When we break up, we are actually changing the form of the relationship from friend to enemy or former friend, mate to ex-mate, partner to ex-partner. This does not change the fact that we are still related and will be forever. Even death cannot end our relationship. It only changes the form.

COMMON RELATIONSHIPS THAT INFLUENCE OUR LIVES


Let’s take a look at the most common types of relationships.

  • Spiritual
  • Yourself
  • Friendship
  • Romantic
  • Parent-child
  • Family Members
  • Business
  • Casual

Your Spiritual Relationship

First and foremost there is your spiritual relationship. This is the relationship you have with All There Is God, the universe, or whatever you choose to call it. The focus of religion has been to teach us the best or only path that God wants us to take. Each religion is convinced there is a different path; therefore, I submit that they are all right. There is no right or only path. What is more important than a single path, is our relationship with All That Is. If we understand that we are ONE with IT and are here to express ourselves as co-creators, there is no way we can be separated from the Source, no matter which path we take. We are all on the same trip and will get to the same destination. Instead of focusing on the destination, perhaps we should focus on the trip. The journey is our true spiritual relationship, not the destination.

Your Relationship with Yourself

The second most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. This is formed by what you say to yourself and what you think about yourself. The dialogue you carry on with yourself affirms your innermost beliefs and translates into vivid images in your subconscious. It inevitably influences outward actions in daily dealings in the world. Negative self-talk tends to be circular, non-productive, hinders problem solving, and is a prime means of harboring hopelessness and

impossible situations. Images that comprise our self-talk continuously color our present, even in ways of which we are unaware. Luckily for us, positive self-talk is also habit forming and, when specifically directed, is a great strength in our quest for positive change in our lives.

The hallmark of our relationship with ourselves should be gentle consideration. Too often we utilize nagging criticism or even harsh condemnation to force positive change. In our self-relationship, the means to achieve a certain end must be honest, ethical, and appropriate to ensure true inner growth. When we can afford this level of consideration and dignity for ourselves, then we automatically extend the same courtesy to others. This is also the action behind loving ourselves and allowing joyful expression without fear of inner reprisals. The soul expands under the open guidance of a kind teacher and withers under the negative expectations of a critical watchdog.

In learning to realign our relationship with ourselves, we must practice and discipline in equal measure: patience as we retrace our steps as many times as necessary, and discipline to be sure we don’t give up in premature defeat over the difficult passage of destructive patterns and habits. The work of inner honesty can be frustrating and tiring as we delve through layers of protective deception. However, gentle honesty is the fundamental ingredient in a relationship having a foundation of trust.

Do you feel authentically you, or has your life become an exercise in deceit? Do you have a complete understanding of your true nature, or have you produced a smoke screen behind which you hide, even from yourself? When we allow our inner self to separate in distrust from our conscious self, then our life becomes a shadow act of something that has the potential for authenticity and original creation.

Honesty in our self-relationship is crucial, but so is trust. Essentially, we must trust ourselves to be an accurate authority on our own life. Taking on this essential role is the first step in gaining emotional responsibility. As we allow others to be experts on our lives for us, we abdicate a certain amount of blame, but we also relinquish some happiness and pride in achievements. No matter how willingly we allow or manipulate others to bear our load, this always caries a price of some resentment toward those who oblige as well as sense of inner disappointment at not directing our own life. As we increasingly take on the business of an honest, loving, inner assessment, we become free. It seems like a dichotomy in some ways, but the truth is that we must take a full personal responsibility in order to be free.

In the middle of this daunting proposal to alter your self-relationship, it can be of help to remember earlier discussions regarding the nature of the Greater Self. The Created Self, which may well be layer upon layer of deception, is merely a cover-up obscuring the Greater Self within. The Greater or Higher Self is changeless and unaltered by external achievements, worries, concerns, and the collection of material possessions. It is who you really are, not the person you created through your personality.

The relationship you have with others will mirror the relationship you have with yourself. If you can’t forgive yourself, you will not be able to forgive others. If you are impatient with yourself, you will be impatient with others. If you blame yourself and establish unreasonable expectations, you will do the same to others. Does a difference exist in how you treat yourself and how you treat others? What if you talked to others the way you talked to yourself? What if you were as unforgiving to others as you are to yourself? Chances are others would accept the kind of abuse you give to yourself. Said another way, do unto yourself as you would do to others.

Friendships – From Casual to Deep

Cicero described a friend as a second self. Our close friendships, which have depth, involve equal sharing as well as providing each other uplifting enrichment.

True friends are people we can discuss our problems and challenges with. Sharing with close friends is an important balance that needs to be nurtured, and mutually understood.

True friends are people who enjoy being with because we feel good when we are around them. We like to do things with them, but what we do is not as important as how we feel when we are around them. Whether we realize it or not, we form all personal relationships based on how others make us feel about ourselves when we are around them. When other people make us feel accepted, appreciated, loved, competent, or successful, we consider them friends. They help us to see the possibilities within ourselves because they are non-judgmental supporters. Often, they point out what is right about us instead of what is wrong. In a non-judgmental way, they can even tell us what we are doing that may be endangering our emotional, psychological, and physical well being. True friends are one of the greatest gifts that we can have in life.

Romantic Relationships

Romantic relationships incorporate a deep and profound aspect of physical attraction and desire. Our desire to be with the other person and our loneliness without him or her often causes us to exhibit all the typical symptoms of a good country-and-western song. Nearly every TV show, novel, movie and song emphasizes some aspect of romantic love.

Unfortunately, unconditional love and romantic love are not always the same. Romantic love can be only sexual. Many people fall in love as an excuse to have sex. This frees them from having to deal with the guilt of having sex just for the sake of enjoyment. If I love someone, sex is OK. If I don’t love them, I am just promiscuous.

Romantic love can also be combined with a feeling of unconditional love. It is possible to have love without sex and sex without love. The ideal combination in a romantic relationship is to have both with the same person. Sometimes this is not always possible. We have to decide for ourselves what we truly want out of the relationship. Is friendship more important, not as important, or equally as important as having romance or a sexual relationship? An exciting romantic and love relationship will profoundly influence our creativity, our self-esteem, and our circle of possibility.

There are clearly differences in male and female communication style, thought processes, interests, and goals. However, a current trend seems to be couples working together in their own entrepreneurial enterprises. When couples harmonize in their career efforts, they can have a long lasting and more enriching relationship, but many couples fall apart by finding that their opposites are not complementary.

Relationships change dramatically as soon as we live with our partner, whether it is at home, at work, or even while just traveling together. It seems that our true colors come to life in full panavision when we get intimately close to someone. We bring all emotional baggage with us into every romantic relationship. Romantic relationships can give us strength, but only if we are willing to properly nourish them.

Common-Goal Relationships

The common-goal relationship is the most powerful. When combined with friendship, love, and romance, it can be the most dynamic relationship. In a common-goal relationship, we are not only attracted to the other person, but are mutually attracted to a common goal or goals. Our energy sphere is combined with the other person’s to create a dynamic source of power. The common goal may be children, a family business, service to your fellow man, or sharing the same spiritual practice. Whatever the goal, if we join with another, all the areas of possibility increase twofold or exponentially. The results can be greater than we can possibly imagine.

What I have learned is that mutual goals and interests, which both can passionately commit to, are the most powerful driving forces within a relationship. The journey becomes more important than the destination. Common goals assist in transcending individual limitations and agendas and draw from the resources of both partners to achieve a successful, dynamic, and passionate relationship.

Business Relationships

Corporations continually agree that their most important resource is their human resources.

Since people can make or break a business, they are the most important factor in the workplace, and their selection is critical. Human resources/personnel departments are geared to assess human characteristics and qualities and consider them to be as important as job specific capabilities.

When it comes to partnerships or teams, it is important to have a blend of personality styles and thinking styles. For example, a small business that is opening up needs a good bean counter (this term is meant as a compliment to all you accounts and CPAs), a good operations and/or production manager, and someone with finely tuned people skills who can bring the business to the marketplace. If you have two of the same type of person, one of you is unnecessary!

There are three kinds of producers: starters, continuers, and stoppers. The starters are the idea people, the continuers are the implementers, and the stoppers can recognize any pitfall to avoid. Once again, you must have all three types to be successful in business. You may have to find someone outside of the business to handle one of these aspects but you cannot succeed without all three.

Mentor Relationships

You can consciously attract people who might make a good mentor by choosing to attend certain meetings and associations that promote the skill that interests you. Unconsciously we can attract just the right person at just the right time using our desire and intuition. You have probably heard the saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” I have found this to be one of the great truths.

A mentor can be one the greatest assets in helping you to reach your goals. I have had several mentors. Without their help I would have been unable to achieve many of the things I have achieved in life. However, you must choose your mentor carefully. Roger Gentis said, “Choose you mentors carefully. People who are lost in their lives tend to follow people who are lost in their theories.”

Family Relationships

Family relationships can range from closeness to downright abuse. One of the most popular terms used by popular psychologists and talk show host is the dysfunctional family. Loosely, the term implies that any family unit that does not measure up to a standard of perfection. It seems like every social ill from rudeness to murder has its root cause in the dysfunctional family.

While it is true that our family backgrounds profoundly influence our development and our ability to create possibilities, we can not and should not use it as an excuse for not creating our lives the way we want to. Many so-called children of dysfunctional families have overcome their childhood experiences and have gone on to lead very successful lives. On the other hand, many children of perfectly “normal” families are sitting in prisons.

As with everything in life, it is not what happens to us that matters, but what we do with what happens to us. Also, it is obvious that each person we encounter is coming from a completely different family background. Sometimes the relationship we have with others is a replay of our family relationship. Friends, lovers, and coworkers are just substitutes for the family members we had difficulties with. If we did not resolve our family relationship, there is a good chance we will keep repeating the same behavioral patterns in subsequent relationships.

We all have to work through our family relationships. In the meantime, what is more important is how we feel about ourselves right now and what we are willing to do to turn our impossible situations of the past into possible opportunities in the present.

IMPOSSIBLE OR POSSIBLE DIFFERENCES

How quickly we can switch from harmony to anger with the ones we love and care about. One minute someone can be our friend and the next minute they can be our enemy.

Perception is held in the moment; the mind doesn’t get a chance to go through much logical processing when we are upset. As soon as someone triggers our emotional buttons, we jump into the survival mode and react rather than respond. Once we have jumped to a conclusion, we are hard-pressed to change it. If we are in disagreement with someone it often threatens our sense of survival. The concept of seeing another as a complementary opposite is not a consideration.

How can we change this? Perhaps we can change it in three ways. First, by continually working on getting rid of all that negative baggage that has built up inside us, replacing it with possibility thinking and positive vision. Second, by investigating our behavioral habit patterns and learning new ways to perceive what we believe is being communicated and practicing new responses, thus forming new and better patterns of response. And third, by giving people the benefit of the doubt by being open and forgiving in understanding each other’s communications, knowing that their intention is what counts.

So often we think a relationship is not repairable. With some relationships, it may be time to let go and move on, but many times we leave relationships behind that could be repaired if both parties could communicate.

Too often instead of communicating, we want justice…just for us. Due to our reactionary survival tendencies and the fact that we tend to limit our perception due to our emotions from past experiences, we stay fixed

on a “my way or no way” kind of thinking. It’s sad that people would rather be right than happy. They cannot accept the unique view of another or negotiate differences into a win/win situation. The fact that we are all so different is what makes life interesting.

We need differences because they stimulate understanding and learning from different points of view. If we were all the same, there would be no need to have relationships. Each one of us has something original to contribute in every relationship. Sometimes we focus on these differences as if they were negative, and we miss their value, rather than looking past the differences, and discovering the benefits.

Often differences are the force that attracts two people. Opposites do attract. Many times, the same differences that attract cause a relationship to end. In the beginning, we appreciate the differences, but eventually we try to change the other person to be more like us. The very thing that attracted that person to us now turns us in the other direction. Instead of appreciating the difference, we see the difference as a deficiency. If you want to make an enemy, try to change someone.

NON-ACCEPTANCE OF DIFFERENCES

Impossible or unworkable relationships are often the result of not accepting each other’s differences. Unfulfilled expectations often become the culprit that eventually erodes the relationship. From an accountability standpoint, we frequently do not make our wants, needs, and expectations clear to our partner but still get angry when our unspoken desires are not fulfilled. We expect our partner to read out mind and if he or she can’t or won’t, we often punish our partner through complaining, blaming, withdrawing, attacking, or worse, withholding love. When we truly love someone unconditionally, we do not use emotional blackmail to get what we want.

Examine your most important relationship. Is your love, trust, and acceptance conditional or unconditional? Is it, “I will love and accept you when and if you behave this way” or is it “I love you, period.” The more conditions we put on our live, the wider the gap between us and our partner. Often, we set up a series of conditions that must be met by our partner to satisfy us in order for our partner to prove that he or she really loves us. If by chance our partner satisfies these conditions, do we finally let him or her off the hook, or do we increase the demands until they become impossible to fulfill? More than likely, we keep upping the ante until there is no possible way our partner can meet our demands.

There are very few unselfish relationships. When we look at any relationship, we will see that we are in it for a reason. Something is exchanged for something else. There is nothing wrong with that as long as the goal is mutual exchange and not exploitation. When we approach our relationship from a selfish stance rather than a benevolent one, we set ourselves up for an impossible relationship. Instead of deciding what we can bring to the relationship to make it possible, we decide what we want to take from the relationship. If our goal is to get fulfillment from our partner, ultimately we will exploit all our partner has to give until there is nothing left. Even if we’re not into a relationship to get, often we will view the relationship as a matter of quid pro quo. If I give something, I expect something in return. This converts the giving aspect of a relationship into a series of loans and debts.

VALUEING YOUR PARTNER

We have all heard that familiarity breeds contempt. Unfortunately, this is true. The closer we are to someone, the more lax we become in our communication and behavior. Behaviors that we accept in others are unacceptable in our partner. We set tougher standards for our mate and

expect more of him or her because after all, if our partner truly love us, he or she would know what we want.

Do you speak with more consideration to your client, your friends, your boss, or your mate? We often don’t give the same care, appreciation, and consideration to our mate as we do to others. We simply take our partner for granted. Often, we feel we are taken for granted, but if you are not getting enough respect, love, or appreciation from your partner, chances are you are not giving enough. If you don’t like what you are receiving, examine what you are giving.

Relationships also change over time by either evolving or deteriorating. This is not good or bad, it is just the way it is. The alternative would be stagnation, which is impossible at the Greater Self-level. Although we like to fantasize that our relationships will last forever, the truth is that they eventually come to an end or change form, either by the death of one partner or other causes of separation. We must accept that endings are simply part of the cycle of change and are not, in and of them, negative. Everything changes. Pain takes center stage due to our resistance to change. The form of a relationship might change, but whether the person is in or out of our life, we will have a relationship with that person forever. If we are addicted to the form of the relationship, we will experience the pain of change until we give up our addiction. Most of us are not addicted to the person but to the form.

WHAT WILL THEY THINK?

It is difficult enough for us to admit to ourselves that we have made an error in judgement, but what is even more difficult is to admit it to others. The possibility of hearing those dreaded words, “I told you so,” is usually more than we are ready to face. Our concern for what others will think or say keeps us on the downward spiral or impossibility. We may persist

against our own better judgement simply to avoid being called a quitter or a loser, because being called a quitter or a loser by others is something we cannot deal with easily. In fact, one of our primary goals is to “look good” to others, so we concentrate on presenting an image to the world rather than being who we are.

The bottom line is that it does not matter what others think unless you think it matters. Only you can make it important.

There is a story about Buddha. On his travels, he met a man who did not like him. The man kept insulting him in every possible way. This went on for many days and many miles.

Finally one day Buddha turned to the man and said, “May I ask you a question?”

“What?” the man replied.

“If someone offer you a gift and you decline to accept it, to whom does it then belong?”

The man said, “It belongs to the person who offered it.”

Buddha smiled, “That is correct, so if I decline to accept your abuse, does it still not belong to you?”

The man was speechless and walked away.

When we are concerned about what others will think or say, we lose control over our lives. Pressure is largely a response to the importance we place on something. Because it is important to do well, we pay more attention to what we are doing. The problem is that instead of paying attention to what we want to accomplish and how we are going to do something we focus our attention on what others will think. This causes us to become more self-conscious. Anything that increases our self- consciousness will increase our chances of failing or choking under pressure, whether in sports, business, or any other endeavor. The

problem is that we become externally directed instead of internally directed.

Other people’s opinions are just that. They are disguised as advice, but they are really nothing more than opinions. Whenever someone starts to tell you how you made a mistake, especially in their terms of failure, let it be known that they are not welcome to give you their opinion, especially when you did not invite them to do so. Make sure you don’t let other people’s opinions make conclusions for you.

METAMESSAGES – WHAT WE REALLY MEAN WHEN WE SPEAK

Sometimes we want to pull away from relationships when we have had a misunderstanding. We read people differently based on our belief system combined with our perception of what others say and do. The tendency for us to have preconceived ideas about what is communicated to us in filtered through our own linguistic understanding that was developed through childhood within our families, by friends, peers, co-workers and society.

Our cultural differences and our ways of storytelling and giving analogies can cause us perceive words in a completely different way than they were intended. On top of that, body language, facial expressions, and voice tones affect meaning as well.

We conceptualize what we think someone is saying through this filtering process and we each have a very different take on what someone has said to us. We can think someone that we just met is wonderful until he or she surprises us with a remark that seems rude; but to someone else, the person could be perceived as being friendly. Deborah Tannen, Ph.D., who wrote That’s NOT What I Meant! Terms this conceptualizing as metamessages.

Dr. Tannen gives an example of a Greek father whose daughter was expected to ask for permission if she wanted to go to a dance. Because he did not want to seem tyrannical, he never said no. But she could tell that from the way he said yes whether or not he meant it. If he said something like, “Yes, of course go,” then she knew he thought it was a good idea. If he said something like, “If you want, you can go,” then she understood that he didn’t think it was a good idea, and she wouldn’t go. His tone of voice, facial expression, and all the element of conversational style gave her clues as to how he felt about her going.

This was an understood family style of interacting, where the father did not want to appear tyrannical, so he would be indirect in his communications. When his daughter would later marry, she could possibly have misunderstandings with her husband about what he meant when he would respond to her requests and suggestions.

There are a multitude of ways people give metamessages when they converse, and learning more about this could make a significant difference in making what seems to be impossible relationship into a possible relationship. Metamessages can be communicated by directness, joking (using irony, sarcasm, and figures of speech), being too direct with our honesty, linguistic, signals, voice intonation, questioning (that may seem like interrogation), styles of complaining, manipulation, and persuasion. If you would like to explore this further I strongly suggest reading Dr. Tannen’s book.

IMPOSSIBLE EXPECTATIONS

In addition to metamessages, we also have ingrained ideas about what we expect of others than can cause further misunderstanding. There are two kinds of expectations. In the first instance, we expect others to

automatically perform politely in a manner that we believe is appropriate or the right thing to do.

The other kind of expectation regards accomplished performance. This is the kind of attitude that leaders are so good at building up in others. They are able to motivate people to believe in something that they did not believe before and then help them to bring that expected vision into reality. Most people have to see it before they believe it. A leader can get others to believe it before they see it. This is the key to making the impossible possible.

In order to change our own level of expectancy, we must have a strong belief in our goals, and ourselves but that does not mean we should expect everyone else to see things exactly the way we do.

When it comes to expecting others to respond and perform as we anticipate, our level of expectancy is based on our perception or the frame from which we express ourselves. We can turn people off to us by what seems to be a small infraction of someone else’s beliefs by doing what seems morally unforgivable. Either way, complete opposition can happen in a moment.

FORGIVENESS

Relationships can be suddenly ended by one party who has kept count of numerous supposed infractions and suddenly makes a surprise blow by terminating the relationship. When others harm us verbally or physically or just hurt our feelings, they are often viewed by us as unforgivable.

Life brings us all kinds of personal hurts, from broken promises and white lies to physical slaps and beatings. The problem is that if we don’t

forgive, we carry around the excess negative baggage for the rest of our lives. This excess baggage contributes to the spiral of impossibility. Our resentment becomes part of our belief system, and we use it to justify either doing or not doing something. In many cases the inability or unwillingness to forgive, turns people into professional victims.

Forgiveness is purely a selfish act. You are not doing it for them; you are doing it for you. This doesn’t mean you have to like the person. You don’t even have to associate with the person or contact him or her, but you must emotionally and sometimes physically release them. Don’t let the memories drag you down into the spiral of impossibility. Realize that the payoff for not forgiving is too high. Not forgiving only makes you “right”. The question is would you rather be right or would you rather be happy?

COMMUNICATION STYLE CAN MAKE THE IMPOSSIBLE, POSSIBLE

By not understanding personality differences and the resulting differences in communication style, we will eventually alienate ourselves, since all we can conclude is that others are wrong, and we are always right. Understanding people’s belief systems, perceptions, and metamessages can make all the difference in having possible rather than impossible relationships.

Have you ever noticed that soap operas are dependent upon a blatant lack of communication in order to exist? The wife doesn’t tell her husband she is pregnant, the sister doesn’t tell the brother that they have a different father, the friend doesn’t tell a friend that his business partner is embezzling. What we don’t realize is that, in a sense, we fail to communicate almost as badly every day, because we each have different perspectives on what certain phrases and statements mean.

Cultural differences and our family’s communication style play a paramount role in our comprehension of what someone means when they speak. Lately, there is more public and professional discussion than ever about the differences in communication styles between men and women. The specific definitions and applications of male and female differences could make a book of its own, so I will refrain from detailing this.

By nature and necessity of brain function, we are constantly interpreting and conceptualizing what we hear people say. We can perceive whether people are joking or serious, mean or kind, rude of polite; or we can wonder whether a statement was directed at us or to someone else.

The problem is, how often do we ask for clarification before we end up feeling upset by what someone says or does? More importantly, the real question is, do we give people the benefit of the doubt? We regularly give people the benefit of the doubt when they suddenly interrupt us, especially because the interrupter will usually show good reason the subject of the interruption.

Why don’t we give more the benefit of the doubt to others more often in other kinds of situations? Usually it is because we reacted first. Then, why don’t we resolve misunderstandings by being more willing to relinquish and give the benefit of the doubt in an effort to resolve misunderstandings? Usually we’re too upset by then. We’re sure the other person could only have meant the worst.

There are several ways to get clarification in order to prevent misunderstanding or to repair the damage from misunderstandings that already occurred. We can ask the other person to restate what he or she said in a new way so that we can be sure we understand the

intention and meaning. We can also ask the other person if we understand the message correctly and rephrase the statement. By rephrasing the statement, we are naming the perception we believe we are hearing, thus gaining clarification.

Writing often elevates people to communicating because more care is given to the written word. The one thing that is lacking in writing, though, is tone of voice and all that the voice can imply. Although lack of voice intonation is reason writing can often be misunderstood, the slowness of it and the fact that it is in print does make us take greater care in our choice of words. Additionally, re-reading what we wrote give us the chance to notice whether our meaning is clear or whether there could be a double meaning in what we wrote.

NOT LISTENTING CAN BE DRASTIC MISTAKE

We can never stop learning when it comes to communications skills, which include verbal, written, and – what is drastically forgotten – our ability to listen. Specialists have been telling us for years that we only retain 10 percent of what we hear. If you think about it, in an all-day seminar, without taking notes, and especially without seeing visual aids, our retention is extremely poor.

Another way to look at the act of listening is, 10 percent of what we hear comes from words, 40 percent of what we hear comes from voice intonation, and 50 percent gets bungled up by our personal interpretation or is entirely lost by our lack of attention.

Now we’re getting to the part about how much we really pay attention to what we hear others say. Our attention is usually focused on what we want to say next, while waiting the other person to stop talking. I catch

myself doing this, and a business partner I was working with caught me at it, too.

My friend Gary suggested that I press my finger down while I talk, reminding myself to limit how much I say and stop so another can speak. Actually, I found that I needed to do the reverse of what he suggested. Gary was right, my burning desire to jump in when someone else is speaking, so I have chosen to press my finger on the table or the arm of a chair while the other person is speaking in order to prevent my breaking in and to emphasize the importance of my listening. Try this. You may find it very helpful.

HONESTY

Give people a little money and they’ll lie, even on the witness stand. Where on earth do people get the idea that it’s OK to lie? It’s become an accepted way of life. Try never telling a lie – not even white lies. You don’t have to tell white lies, you can find a way to diplomatically tell the truth. The only thing I try to avoid is telling people that I am not interested in being with them. I will tell people that I don’t seem to have the same interests as them, or that we don’t have that much in common…in a careful way.

Once you get into always telling the truth, it makes life so much easier. Being totally honest seems to focus our purpose. I have easy ways to communicate honestly without causing anyone pain. Also, when your life is on purpose, you will find it easy to be honest.

GOOD INFLUENCE OR BAD INFLUENCE?

How do we know who is a good influence on us and who is not? How do we know if we are having an intuitive, accurate hunch about

someone and not a rush to judgment based on our own previous experiences? Perhaps a person we have just met is demonstrating only one facet of his or her personality, when there is much more to get to know. We all have our fleeting moments of temporary annoyance, but often we decide that what we have seen in someone we have just met is who they are.

By using our intuition and having a clear understanding or ourselves as we relate to others, we can continually enhance our ability to know who want in our life.

When we get to the possibility of longer-term and deeper relationships, whether it is business or a love partner, choosing whom to partner up with is a gamble. We take a gamble and accept the risk of being hurt, rejected, and disappointed. As we choose to deepen our relationship with another, we must look at the complementary opposite side of love.

The issue is to free ourselves from unhealthy relationships. Do we want to keep choosing the same kind of people over and over again in our lives, so we can keep learning the same lessons over and over again? Maybe our biggest challenge is to finally learn our lesson and move on.

SELF-LOVE VS. LOVING OTHERS

The 80’s has been coined the “Me” decade. The emphasis of most self- help books and seminars was on serving our own needs first in order to better enable us to serve others. In the 90’s, there was a backlash against putting self-love before others. Many are quick to blame society’s troubles on the “Me” generation. The generalization is that, instead of caring about others, the me-first advocates were more interested in serving themselves.

Perhaps you feel this way. Admittedly, self-love is not the cure for all of society’s ills; however, it is the basis of sound mental health. On the surface, it may appear noble to love and serve others first. In all honesty though, we cannot ignore our own needs at the expense for putting others first. It simply doesn’t work. You can’t give something you don’t already have. If you want to borrow five dollars from me, I must first have the five dollars to give you, no matter how much I want to help you. If I give you the five dollars and I need it, I will eventually resent you. If I have taken care of my own needs first, I will be emotionally, psychologically, physically, and spiritually solvent. Instead of trying to give from lack, I can give from abundance. When I give from abundance, I am giving from surplus, so there is an ample supply left over for me. As a result, both of us are stronger individuals.

Without love of self and others, we are impotent to change. A loveless life will be barren and always seem impossible. Love is the most powerful force we have for personal success. Love is the action that strengthens our self-esteem and self-worth by helping us and others to see strengths instead of weaknesses. Love creates a focus on our assets instead of our liabilities. Self-love motivates us to care for ourselves physically and mentally by investing effort in physical fitness, a healthy diet, and sexual satisfaction, expanding the mind and experiencing joyful days.

ELIMINATE THE NEGATIVE, ATTRACT THE POSITIVE

In order to fully experience our possibilities, we must get away from people who are constantly sad, pessimistic, grouchy, or negative in general. Do not join them in their misery. Remember, give them the benefit of the doubt by first telling them that you would prefer to keep things on a more upbeat scale. But if they don’t change their way of interacting with you, you must either disassociate yourself from them

completely or change the form of the relationship from closeness to casual and infrequent interaction.

We want can-do people around us who see all the reasons and possibilities in how things can be done. If you were to hire a consultant, would you select and pay someone to tell you what you cannot do? You want an advisor who can enhance your perception of the possibilities at hand. We must surround ourselves with people with high self-esteem, people who can tell us how to get the job done how to make it happen for us.

While we’re busy recognizing the characteristics of the kind of people that can influence our success, we must consider that we must have those same characteristics and abilities.

Can-do people have a sense of timing and value their time, using it to their advantage. They may enjoy life as much as anyone else may, but they don’t seek gratification during a time that is essential for accomplishments.

Can-do people know that their personal attitude plays a major role in their success as they set themselves up to succeed. They live in a state of positive expectancy. Since they expect to succeed, they do. They have this faith in themselves because they know that they are working in alignment with something much greater than they are. They use their intuition and faith to know when the time is right to take certain actions or steps toward their goals.

When we have the character of a can-do person, we accept success as a natural and inevitable state of events.

Dr. Robert Anthony
WRITTEN BY

Dr. Robert Anthony

The works of Dr Robert Anthony are some of the best kept secrets on the Law of Attraction. Operating without the massive self-promotion and razzmatazz that so often accompanies other ‘Personal Development’ teachers, Dr Anthony has nevertheless provided a guiding direction to some of the most successful people on the planet.

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