This month I was truly inspired by the reaction to the terrorist attack here in Stockholm. Instead of closing up people opened up. Both their hearts and their homes to strangers (#openstockholm). Enough of division and fear. No matter how many times it’s said Love and Understanding is the only way to a brighter future that is worth having.
The magic is in the details, so instead of talking about the big picture I want to talk about how we can solve conflict in the smallness our everyday actions. Maybe a better understanding of this could stop at least somebody from feeling bad enough to hurt others…
Your Life is a Masterpiece, discover it!
Quote of the month
" Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens. "
- Carl Jung
It’s not just Elton John that seems to think that ”Sorry!” can be the hardest word. We have probably all been in a place where it seems darned near impossible to make the feet move us closer and have the lips form those sounds. This despite knowing full well what a difference it could make, right? We still sit there like a stubborn, sulky six year old refusing to ask for forgiveness.
Those times we get around to it we have a hard time simply apologizing. We have tendency to let it flow over into explanation and justification of what we have done: I’m sorry I got angry and yelled at you… but … it’s really hard not to when you never listen to me/ leave your stuff everywhere/ disrespect me/ ___________________ (fill in whatever you think the other person did to upset you). Seems like we often feel we are totally justified in taking the opportunity to give a little correctional feedback while being sorry. Problem is it ruins your apology completely.
Because, instead have having the wanted effect of inoculating for the same kind of future problems it rekindles the ”problem thinking” and invites more arguing about the same ”things”. So, if there is something that most people have gotten backwards it is the idea that other people will change their minds if we just explain well enough how they were wrong and we are actually right – again and again.
The only long-term way out of this is to see that the only relationship we can ever have is with our own thinking. Your partner doesn’t irritate you. You have irritated thinking about your partner in that moment. Your disagreeing co-worker isn’t an idiot. In that moment you have idiotic thinking about your co-worker. That inconsiderate email didn’t make you angry, you have angry thinking about the email. That’s why you feel the way you feel. That’s why you can stew and brew about something long after it’s over or before it has even happened. If you understand the depth of that insight it makes all the difference in the world.
Once you see it you can apologize for what is actually going on which doesn’t invite further arguing. I’m sorry got angry and yelled at you… I got cought up in my own thinking and then took it out on you. Please forgive me! Can you see how this offers up a completely different playing field? Is there anybody who doesn’t recognize the truth in this? That when it gets a little hectic between the ears we all have a tendency to say and do things that are less useful…
That’s why it’s so valuable to understand that we only run into trouble when we think that something other than our thinking in the moment is the reason for how we feel. Then we can come up with endless reasons for our upset, rather than seeing that we are only ever upset by our thinking. That’s why it’s such a turning point when we look to how we all function psychologically. We no longer see it as personal attack on us when we have ”bad” feelings. We see it for what it is, which is a sign of low quality of thinking in the moment.
This doesn’t mean that we don’t take on what needs to be changed. But, and this important, we do it from a clear state of mind where we have access to more of our innate potential and can be more of a positive force in any situation. At the very least, I hop that this points you in a better direction and helps you apologize in a genuine way without ruining it with an erroneous excuse or justification. That will make ”sorry” a lot less hard of word and one of the most powerful things you can say…
The Book of Joy
av Dalai Lama & Desmond Tutu
Like most things it’s always good to check the source, and if you want to take advice about joy the first criteria is that the teachers exudes it. Now, whatever you think of spiritual leaders in general, these two in particular fill that first criteria. The book is a glowing statement to this and and a joy to read. Insights will abound, especially if you realize that nobody is a more trustworthy expert on you than yourself.
You can find more books under Suggested Reading
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As an integral part of living my vision "to inspire, educate and make a difference in enough peoples private and professional lives to make a positive difference in the world", I write and distribute a free monthly coaching letter. In these I share various ideas, thoughts and insights that I think can be of value for all of you who are interested in getting the absolute best out of life.Read more