I had an argument with an individual last week. The argument was not important, but it struck me afterwards that his position was, “I am just doing what I think is right!” This comment could be perfectly fine if we are able to listen to opposing views and discuss possible differences in opinion. But when we decide we no longer care what others think, and consider our opinion right without listening… well that leads to conflict.
Major conflicts throughout history were the result of people doing what they thought was right. Family arguments result when people do what they think is right without considering how it impacts others.
I have written a lot about the importance of knowing yourself and knowing your values. It is your guide to living a life of significance. I have also written a lot about the skill of listening. If you care about others you will listen to them. These two things, knowing your values and listening, are not meant to be segregated.
After the argument, I also reflected on multiple occasions in the work environment where people believe they are right and stop listening. This brings to a quick halt the opportunities for improvement, innovation, and change.
The lesson I reflected on this week is that even when you feel you are right, you have to consider the possibility that you are not. Stop and listen. How good are you at temporarily putting aside your opinion, and actively listening?
Our greatest accomplishments are often linked to instances when we are able to overcome fear. Fear is a barrier that keeps us from being the best version of ourselves. It is the fear of failure that usually keeps us from taking action.
A quote by Ambrose Redmoon says, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” This quote reminds me that it is easier to overcome fear when we are fueled by desire. A desire to achieve something that is important to us.
Fear is not eliminated. We just find we are able to temporarily ignore it. Just enough to act.
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure,” said Paulo Coelho.
Fear can also feel like uncertainty. We hesitate, or we miss an opportunity because we are uncertain. I have a friend that is always saying, “Know your plan. Work your plan.” The work becomes taking action even when you feel stuck by adjusting.
Where do you need to adjust your perspective to overcome fear?
Nothing in life lasts forever, and with time, all things change. Do you feel like your life is in an unhappy state? Are you stuck in a rut? It will pass! Sadly, this also applies to the good times as well. All will fade with time.
We should have plans and goals, but we can be assured that life rarely follows the best laid plans. Learning to face the ups and downs with a positive attitude can help smooth our path. Today’s challenges will only be history tomorrow.
We can’t control all the factors that affect us each day, so what can we control? We can learn to maximize the sweet times and minimize the sour ones.
“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell
It is so easy to get stuck on the negative impact of an event, that we fail to see the opportunity just beyond. I am learning more and more that this is just an attitude. The more positive your attitude, the easier it is to see opportunity.
In the past I thought that being able to think and reflect was the best method to see opportunity, but I have to change that thought. A positive attitude can be just as powerful as the other practices. It is easiest to see when you and a friend experience the same event, and their positive attitude views it completely differently.
The other aspect of a positive attitude is that it can kick in immediately following a disappointment. There is no delay for reflection and evaluation, just attitude that carries you to new opportunities.
Practicing a positive attitude can be difficult, but it can also become very natural. Give it a try!