By Rob McBride
Not everything in life is beautiful and bright. From time to time we can all use a Guiding Light. Challenges and disagreements come frequently and furiously. A map which helps us grow and build with each passing day is useful. Following are points of light which can be used as a Guiding Light. They are based on the premise that no one is "perfect" and the exceptional book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.
BE KIND: In any situation we can obtain much more by being kind. Though we may be offended and hurt by what others do and say, we can always get better results by being kind rather than by being aggressive or critical. If we are to be kind to others, we should start by being kind to ourselves. When we make a mistake, let's give ourselves permission to be "imperfect" and carry on without the mental anguish we create in our mind.
FLOW WITH EVERYTHING: When something happens to throw us off course, we can do the following. First, we can realize no one is "perfect" and, as such, people will say and do things which we don't like. This doesn't make them "bad" people; it simply means they have a different perception of the world from our own and we shouldn't take it personally. The second is to realize the world is not as we would like it to be, rather it simply is as it is. Instead of fighting against what happens in life, we can go with the flow in the same way a river runs its course regardless of obstacles.
CONFIRM PERCEPTIONS: Some our most serious disagreements arise as a result of misperceptions and misconceptions. "I thought you were going to come!" we can reprimand a friend who has not shown up for a meeting. A simple confirmation beforehand could have completely avoided the mishap. What we are thinking is not always what the other person is thinking and it is almost impossible to know what goes on in another's mind with any degree of certainty. We can also confirm important facts. For example we may say, "I thought my money was insured!" The answer which comes back could be, "That's what you get for thinking!" When we confirm perceptions and important facts, we open the doors to beneficial agreements and understanding.
GIVE OUR BEST EFFORT: When we give our best effort, we can sleep better knowing we have done all we can do. It's important to know our best effort will vary depending on the day, our mood and our health. If for some reason we don't give our best effort at any given time, we can go directly to the first point and be kind to ourselves without the mental battle which often takes place in our mind.
LEARN FROM EVERYTHING: Life consists of a myriad of experiences. Some are magical moments which take our breath away. Others are devastating defeats which make us want to retreat. We can learn from everything. While we learn much from what we like, we often learn more from what we don't like, although it is quite possible we may learn more than we bargained for! What we can do consistently is to learn from everything.
Life is made up of moments which are not good, bad, or ugly. Instead, they simply are what they are. We can live a life with less consternation, tribulation, more emotion and intention when we are kind, flow with everything, confirm perceptions, give our best effort and learn from everything.
Rob McBride is an author and speaker who motivates, inspires and trains people. His keynotes, seminars and workshops enhance effectiveness and increase corporate productivity with concrete, dynamic tools which enable people to take control of their professional direction and destiny. He writes the Lunar Letter monthly with each full moon.