We are often given well-intentioned advice. Yet we need to consider, even seemingly universal maxims, from the perspectives of balance and discernment.
Take for instance Jerry Spinelli’s recommendation:
“Live today. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Just today.
Inhabit your moments. Don’t rent them out to tomorrow.”
Of course, this is a great reminder that we need to be present and focused, instead of wasting time and energy on regretting our past or worrying about the future. However, we need to balance this with discernment so that we can learn lessons from our past and prepare and invest in our future.
Or as as we frequently hear:
“Treat others as you want to be treated.”
Again the intention is positive. However, the impact can be negative. If the other person is a different Observer, that is, someone who has a different set of values, standards and norms from you, then treating him or her without regard for those differences can be disrespectful or hurtful and can lead to disengagement or conflict.
How do you develop balance and discernment?
You cultivate your ability to manage your emotions and moods, you practise and you become more self-aware and more aware of others’ nuances.
* Start with a mood of curiosity and play
* Adopt an attitude that “failure isn’t fatal”
* Take a risk by experimenting
* Notice and record in your journal your observations on how the new behaviour is affecting you and others
* Be compassionate with yourself as you try another iteration
* Keep practising until you get the desired response or outcome.
Or if you would like to discuss with me how to accelerate the process of balance and discernment send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on +44 (0) 7952 068133.