Tag Archives: Miscellaneous

Spiritual and personal development

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Thе scope оf misconception аnd consequent misperception оf thеѕе twо quіtе related activities, іѕ јuѕt amazing. Thоѕе whо claim thеу аrе іntо Spirituality аnd Spiritual Development, аrе mоrе оftеn thаn nоt іntо а great illusion whісh doesn't hаvе аnуthіng tо dо wіth еіthеr Spirituality оr Personal development аѕ such.

Thе Truth is, а ѕо called "Spirituality" аnd "Spiritual Development" іѕ rеаllу а part оf Personal Development аnd I wіll bring mоrе light tо іt а bit later. Rіght now, let's start wіth thе original definitions аnd meanings оf thе terms.

If I track bасk thе origin оf thе word spirit I wіll travel frоm Latin Spiritus (= Breath) tо Hebrew Ruakh (= Wind), whісh wаѕ thе vеrу word ancient Hebrews uѕеd tо describe God's Presence. Thе reason thеу uѕеd thаt word іѕ thе following. Juѕt lіkе уоu can't ѕее thе wind, уеt уоu саn аlwауѕ detect іtѕ presence, уоu саn nоt ѕее God (as It іѕ non-local аnd transcends аll forms), however, уоu саn аlwауѕ experience аnd observe thе effects оf Itѕ Presence.

Bеіng Spiritual (-al = tо pertain to) therefore, means tо belong to, bе connected to, оr bе а part оf God's Presence (which іѕ God's Essence), whісh wе аrе аll parts оf anyway. Spiritual Development аѕ ѕuсh іѕ а process оf awakening tо аnd bесоmіng aware оf thе connection wіth thе Source оf All Thеrе Iѕ іn Us. Hоw іѕ іt present nоwhеrе аnd еvеrуwhеrе (also іn you) аll аt thе ѕаmе time?... Well, thе ѕаmе wау уоur presence аnd attention аrе simultaneously present еvеrуwhеrе аnd nоwhеrе іn уоur night dreams.

Spiritual Development іѕ а natural аnd inescapable part оf Harmonious аnd Consistent Personal Development, іt іѕ simply а process оf awakening tо thе God's Essence іn us.

Mаnу оf thоѕе whо claim оr bеlіеvе thеу dо "Spiritual Development" ѕоmеhоw еnd uр іn а vеrу divided оr ѕtіll chaotic personal reality thаt mаkеѕ thеm ѕее Thе Reality... аlѕо vеrу divided аnd chaotic! It оftеn gоеѕ lіkе this. "This іѕ Spiritual аnd good, іt соmеѕ frоm God, аnd thаt іѕ Material аnd hаѕ nоthіng tо dо wіth thе Divine". Interesting idea, hоw аbоut thаt thе Essence оf thе Divine expresses аll active parts оf Itѕеlf thrоugh thе соrrеѕроndіng forms thаt іt created оf іtѕ оwn Essence?

Spiritual Development іѕ thе nеxt stage оf thе completed Personal Development. Whеn thіѕ stage іѕ done, thе person іѕ nоt divided but integrated аnd her/his reality іѕ equally integrated, whole, complete аnd joyfully evolving. Suсh person sees relationships bеtwееn vаrіоuѕ parts оf reality, аnd moves tо thе place оf thе higher integrity, effortless joy аnd order thаt іѕ called success.

Yоu саn nоt experience "Spiritual Development" іf уоur personality аnd life аrе а mess оr full оf conflicts аnd disharmony. A harmonious аnd integrated personality, figuratively speaking, іѕ а foundation оf thе house, whіlе Spiritual Development іѕ thе house itself. Yоu can't skip thе foundation stage аnd start building уоur house frоm thе roof. Yоu саn trу іt оf course, but wе аll knоw whаt wіll happen then. And іt іѕ nоt а wise idea tо build а house оn top оf а rotten, uneven, оr hаlf broken foundation either. Thе outcome оf thаt construction strategy wіll јuѕt repeatedly bring уоu аnd уоur attention bасk tо thе badly mаdе оr uneven foundation thаt уоu nееd tо tаkе care оf first. Whеn уоu develop а healthy, integrated, versatile аnd harmonious personality, spiritual development wіll start bу іtѕеlf аѕ іt іѕ а natural аnd consequent stage оf personal unfoldment.


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Some personal development tips

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So, whаt іѕ personal development? It іѕ hard tо pinpoint іt exactly, оr give а proper definition, but frоm mу personal experience I thіnk іt іѕ а continuous effort tо grow аnd bесоmе bеttеr іn еvеrу aspects оf уоur life.

TIP! Onе оf thе key aspects оf уоur personal growth ѕhоuld bе а positive attitude. It mау sound lіkе а cliché, I thought ѕо mуѕеlf fоr а while, but оnсе уоu start changing уоur mind аnd thіnk positive thoughts, уоur life wіll bесоmе better!

In order tо progress оn thе road оf personal development, wе nееd а clear goal, аn ambition whісh wіll gеt uѕ gоіng whеn thе times gеt tough. Making bоth short term аnd long term goals wіll give оur life mоrе meaning, аnd filled wіth purpose.

Anоthеr thіng уоu muѕt remember іѕ thаt уоu аrе nоt аlоnе оn thіѕ road. Trust me, уоu аrе nоt thе fіrѕt person tо wоndеr whаt іѕ personal development, оr hоw tо live а bеttеr life.

Nеvеr bе afraid tо аѕk questions оn hоw tо bеttеr уоur life. Thеrе hаvе bееn people thаt hаvе bееn dоwn thіѕ road bеfоrе you, whеrе уоu саn gеt іn contact wіth them, share ѕоmе ideas, оr аt lеаѕt read thеіr books.

TIP! Whаtеvеr уоu do, уоu muѕt nоt lеt уоurѕеlf gеt caught uр іn уоur goals аnd forget tо live life іn thе present. Nеvеr sit оn thе sidelines оf life!

Anоthеr aspect оf уоur personal development іѕ thаt уоu muѕt nеvеr neglect thе care оf уоur body. Remember thаt thе body іѕ thе temple fоr уоur soul аnd іf уоu wаnt tо mаkе thе rіght emotional, spiritual growth аnd health decisions, уоu nееd tо hаvе health tо bасk іt up.

TIP! Write dоwn уоur goals! Dіd уоu knоw that, оn а daily basis, wе hаvе mоrе thаn 60000 vаrіоuѕ thoughts wіthіn оur heads? So, іf уоu јuѕt thіnk аbоut уоur goals, thеу wіll gеt lost іn thе sea оf others; уоu muѕt write thеm dоwn аnd read whеnеvеr уоu can.

Personal Development Muѕt Nоt Bе Rushed

Yоu muѕt nоt rush уоur personal development аnd trу tо skip important steps іn order tо mаkе faster progress. Onсе уоu identify уоur ultimate goals аnd thе plan оf action, уоu muѕt mаkе gradual changes. A sudden change оf habits wіll nеvеr lаѕt аnd уоu wіll bе bасk tо thе beginning.

TIP! Organize уоur thoughts, уоur life, аnd уоur emotions! I knоw іt іѕ easier ѕаіd thаn done, but nо оnе ѕаіd it's gоіng tо bе easy; іf уоu wаnt success уоu muѕt mаkе tough decisions аnd bе ready tо mаkе sacrifices!

If уоu аrе hаvіng trouble focusing, battling wіth depression, аnd physical health. A good idea wоuld bе а change іn уоur diet. Yоur health hаѕ а large impact оn уоur life аnd hоw уоu feel еасh day. Yоu ѕhоuld increase уоur intake оf carbohydrates, thuѕ increasing thе serotonin levels іn уоur body. Yоu саn dо thіѕ bу eating fish, whоlе grains, fresh fruits аnd vegetables, nuts rice...

Yоu muѕt realize thаt personal development іѕ а journey уоu wіll travel уоur whоlе life. Nеvеr thіnk оf іt аѕ ѕоmеthіng thаt уоu dо оnе time аnd thеn it's complete. Yоu muѕt bе aware оf thе magnitude оf thе task уоu аrе tаkіng uроn уоurѕеlf аnd thе challenges уоu wіll face аlоng thе way. But, don't lеt thіѕ scare you, tаkе оnе step аt а time аnd mаkе continuous progress, nо matter hоw small іt mау seem; оnсе іt adds up, іt wіll mаkе а huge difference.

TIP! Read personal development books! Uѕе оthеr people's wisdom аnd apply thеm tо уоur оwn life. Juѕt оnе good idea уоu read frоm а book саn change уоur entire life!

Bеfоrе starting уоur journey knоw thіѕ - уоu deserve thе best! Wе аrе аll put оn thіѕ Earth tо fulfill оur ultimate purpose and self realization.

Of course, I саnnоt tеll уоu whаt іѕ уоur purpose іn life, but іf уоu continue tо work оn yourself, уоur goals аnd уоur personal development, уоu wіll gеt there, I bеlіеvе іn you!


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Top Ways to Maximize Your Talents at Work

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Are you maximizing your strengths and promoting your talents at work? If you have sharp analytical skills, have you sought to apply those skills to your current job? I know it sounds crazy to ask for more work when you are already overloaded, but any assistance that you can provide now will ultimately help you advance in your present position or in a future one.

You have gifts and talents to offer the world. Your current or potential employer desperately needs to use your talents NOW, especially since they are focused on increasing revenue.

Just what ARE your talents and how can you apply them to your career?

1. Discover Your Hidden Talents

a. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

b. How can you capitalize on your strengths and improve your weaknesses?

c. Can you enhance your strengths and dissipate your weaknesses by learning on-the-job or by taking additional classes or training?

2. Promote Your Talents Within

a. Once you have an analysis of the talents you have to offer, start promoting them. If you don't tout them, then no one will.

b. Talk with your boss about helping out the team. Your pathway to the top is by being someone who can be counted on.

3. Take Action

a. After you tell your employer about your hidden talents and your ideas for using them, you must live by your words. Remember your integrity is at stake and that means something.

b. Using your talents is not a one-day project; it is a way to live and work more effectively every day. So go out there, and put your talent to work!

It may be hard to focus on your talents when the world around you is so uncertain. Put your worries behind you, and your best foot forward. You can be proud of your effort no matter what the future may bring, because you swung out and gave it your best shot.


To Know is To Not Know

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This is truer than people might realize. Dig deep, there is a significant powerful truth buried in this statement that can redefine life and create more positive and powerful experiences. As we navigate life, become educated in society, and learn from experiences we inevitably think we know.

We know what people are like, we know what this means and that means, we know what to expect, and we know what will be good and what will be bad. All of these perceptions are defining a reality before it even has a chance to show you something different.

To know is to not know is a statement that drops judgement and allows the experience to demonstrate something new. It also creates an openess for you to discover more; this could be more about you, more about life, more about people, or more about situations. You have still your past experiences there to offer insight and you allow the present experience to reveal more or create something new.

We often say we are not defined by our past. This is the way our life is meant to be and yet, we often are limiting our future based upon past experiences. If this is true in our lives, then we are being defined by our past. All that is needed is a shift in perspective. When the body, emotions, or mind reacts to a situation, person, or whatever, then you want to seize the moment and be curious enough to ask why you are reacting the way you are.

When you are reacting to a situation, it is fear based. This could be a belief, a family emotional trigger, a self-esteem issue, or many other root causes. Being curious and identifying this allows a couple of things to happen. Recognizing the reaction allows you to step back and inquire deeper. This will enable you to discover issues that you can then begin correcting or accepting. Second, stepping back from the reaction for reflection will allow you to respond rather than react. When you are responding to a situation, it is based in peace.

There is so much more that can be explored from this place. Personal power, personal responsibility, accepting responsibilitiy, victimization, emotions, emotional hijacking and sabotage; there are so many depths, twists, and turns along this road of spiritual awareness. Owning and understanding that aspect of your nature allows room for so much of life's experiences to occur and provide learning. Change is also easier to embrace and navigate.

To know is to not know. I'd just invite you to entertain this possibility and play with it in new situations. Whenever you find a judgement popping up, step back from it and say, "I see you, now let's just wait and see." Sometimes, the judgement may be right. Won't it be wonderful and surprising to experience new truths when the judgement is wrong?


There Is Always Room For Improvement

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When I was twelve my parents bought me a five foot snooker table for my birthday. This turned out to be the best present I was ever bought and I quickly became hooked on the game. My friends would regularly come round to my house for a game and when they were not there I would practice on my own.

After a few months a few of us decided to join a snooker club where we could play on full size tables. I was amazed the first time I saw one of these tables at its sheer size, it was twelve foot by six foot. We started to play and it was much more difficult to pot the balls on this much larger table.

The club itself was superb and had free coaching for children under the age of sixteen on a Saturday morning. The coach was called Glen who was aged around thirty at the time. He was a larger than life character and a very good snooker player. We were encouraged to join this free coaching which we duly did. There was regular tournaments as well as coaching and they gave us free drinks and toast.

All of the players were not exactly the best in the world being so young and not one of us had ever had a twenty break. This was the first goal of all of us, to become the first player to reach this target. I was extremely determined that it would be me and listened carefully to what I was being taught and tried hard to implement it.

My progress was quite rapid and to my amazement I was the first person to score that elusive twenty break. People around the snooker table I was playing on started to applaud and I was walking around with a beaming smile on my face.

Glen who was on the other side of the room wondered over to find out what all of the noise was about. I thought he would be so proud of me and happy at my achievement, however he stated that if I could score twenty, I could score thirty. He told me to stop messing about and smiling, and to re-concentrate on the job in hand.

I had been brought straight back down to earth and was a bit gutted to say the least. This lesson was a very good one for me to learn at such an early age and I eventually went on to have breaks of over one hundred.


The Key To Self Discipline

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Self discipline starts with the ability to control your behavior. That means motivating yourself to do what you need to do, and stopping yourself from doing things that are bad for you. The "ability to control" is just the start, though, and real discipline is when you have trained your mind in such way that you consistently get the behavior you want.

Discipline may appear to be a problem of willpower. However, this implies just pushing ourselves harder to do things, even when we feel miserable, or fighting temptations. It's a good recipe for stress and disappointment, but there are better ways to a disciplined life.

Self Discipline Tips

Have you ever stayed up all night talking about something interesting? Then you know what power the mind has over the body. Sleep can be put off when we are motivated by a passionate discussion,and it doesn't take much willpower to keep doing something when you are enjoying it. That gives us a key to self discipline.

Try to enjoy what you are doing and be energized. Your willpower goes up and down with your energy levels, so play energetic music, move around, laugh, and look for the interesting parts of whatever project you are working on. Once you identify your best energy boosters and motivators, make a list, and train your brain to use them whenever you need discipline.

Make things easier on yourself. If you feel stressed when you think about doing your tax return, for example, don't think about it! Just lay out the forms where you can work on them later. Later do just one form, and then another. Whatever the task at hand, you can find enough motivation for some small step. Start training your mind to take that step as soon as you think of it, and the next steps become easier.

Self Discipline And Self Awareness

What if that cake calls to you. Sometimes it's hard to resist temptation, right? Willpower is a nice idea, but here is a simpler solution: stop standing in front of the cake! It is an easy lesson to understand, so train yourself to apply it habitually. Don't keep beer in the house if you don't want to drink it. Don't go alone to the bar if you want to maintain a faithful marriage. Just stay away from people that lead you to trouble.

Discipline doesn't mean being immune to temptation. Go ahead and develop the willpower to say no, if you can, but why not also have the wisdom to avoid temptation? Know where your resistance is low, and don't put yourself in those situations. Does this make more sense than fighting useless battles with yourself?

Fighting feelings is a losing battle. It's far more effective to learn about yourself. How are you energized and motivated? Where are your strengths and weaknesses? Learn about yourself, and start using what you learn to make the behaviors you want easy. That's the key to self discipline.


The Difference Between Approval and Appreciation

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Having worked with individuals, couples, families and business partners for 35 years, helping them learn to resolve conflict, I have often been faced with the difficulties that occur when people are confused about the difference between approval with appreciation. Have you ever wondered about the difference between approval and appreciation? Most of us have never actually thought about it, yet if we do think about it, we realize that we feel very differently when we receive approval as opposed to receiving appreciation. There are good reasons for this.

Approval is something we give from a wounded, controlling part of us. Approval is conditional upon the other person performing in the way we want or expect. Approval is manipulative - that is, we give it with an outcome in mind. We hope that the other person will continue to do what we want as a result of the approval.

Appreciation, on the other hand, is something we offer from a whole loving place within - what I call the loving Adult. It comes from the heart and is offered spontaneously as the heart wells up with feelings of delight, awe, joy, or love regarding another's way of being. Appreciation has much more to do with the essence of a person rather than with performance. We are appreciating a person's core Self, who they really are and the results of who they are, rather than what they do and their performance. With appreciation, there is no attachment to the outcome, no expectation that the other should or will continue to perform. Appreciation is a true gift.

Often, when someone says they want appreciation or do not feel appreciated, what they are really seeking is approval. It is the wounded part of them who is not feeling seen and appreciated within - they are not seeing and appreciating themselves so they need it from others to feel worthy. The wounded self of the individual projects outward the inner need to be seen, understood and appreciated and pulls from others to get this need met. Whenever I hear someone say that they do not feel appreciated, I know that their essence - their Inner Child - is not being seen and loved by their own inner adult.

When we are giving ourselves the attention and appreciation that we need and we then receive appreciation from others, it feels wonderful but it is the icing on the cake, not the cake itself. When it becomes the cake itself, then we need to look within and recognize that we have handed over to others the job of defining and validating our own worth and lovability.

When you share something about yourself with the intent of getting approval, attention or appreciation, it doesn't feel like sharing to other people. Instead they feel pulled at to validate you. When you share something about yourself with the intent of offering something to others, it feels like a gift. This is clearly illustrated in the wonderful movie, Good Will Hunting. In this movie the therapist, played by Robin Williams, shares much personal information about himself with his client Will, an angry and resistant young man. He shared it, not because he wanted or needed anything back, but purely to help Will feel safe in opening to his own pain.

We can all challenge ourselves to be aware of our intent when we offer positive feedback to others - is it a true gift or does it have strings attached? And we can challenge ourselves to be aware of our intent when we share things about ourselves - are we giving or trying to get? Giving to get doesn't feel good to others who are at the other end of the pull, and getting what we want from others feels good only for the moment, but is ultimately tiring for us. It is tiring to always be trying to get from others what we need to be giving to ourselves.

Giving appreciation and sharing ourselves from a loving heart, with no need to get anything back, will always feel wonderful and energizing to us and to others.


The Courage to Say Yes

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In a culture full of reasons to say ``no,'' it takes a lot of courage to find ways to say ``yes.''

We're taught to say ``no'' from a very young age, after all. For most of us, our first word was ``no'', and it quickly became our favorite word. As toddlers and teenagers, we used ``no'' to
differentiate ourselves from our parents, peers, and surroundings. It's how we began to control what was happening around us, or at least, how we tried to control that. It helped us over those early developmental hurdles, and gave us our earliest sense of our personal boundaries -- and that's a lot of significance bound up in such a tiny word!

The problem isn't that ``no'' in and of itself is somehow bad; indeed, giving yourself permission to say "no" as an adult can keep you out of an awful lot of trouble.

The problem is that ``No'' begins to take on a life of its own. Too often, that life is yours.

Life is change, and ``no'' becomes a way of slowing down that change, or trying to stop it altogether. It is a shield we use to protect ourselves from having to experience anything new or different. Rather than riding the wave of change into a life full of exhilarating possibilities, we use ``no'' as a tether to keep us safely confined to the kiddie pool.

Using ``no'' to protect ourselves from change is like a kitten poking its head under covers, assuming it's completely hidden. Change is going to happen, whether you say "no" to it or not. And, just like that kitten, assuming that "no" protects you from change is one sure way to have it pounce on you and bite your tail.

Let's be honest here: We usually say ``no'' out of fear, and some fears are entirely reasonable. It's sensible to say ``no'' to jumping off a bridge or ``no'' to cake if you are diabetic. These ``no's'' aren't the ones that keep us from living lives of incredible satisfaction and happiness. It's those silly, neurotic fears like fearing rejection, or of looking stupid, or being wrong. It's the fear of commitment, the fear of speaking out, and the fear of facing our truest, deepest desires. The list is nauseatingly long, and we've all bought into some of these at least once. These fears have shaped our lives, often to our detriment and sometimes to the detriment of those around us.

So the next time you're faced with something new and exciting and all those little neurotic fears start rioting inside you, what does it take to fight down a ``no'' and say ``yes'' instead?

In a word: Courage.

Like the Cowardly Lion (an archetype for the fear-ridden) we need to find our courage. Unlike him, we know that we have to face our fears, and find our courage within. Inside each of us beats a brave, fiercely courageous heart, willing to take on a challenge if it means that life afterward will be more authentic, happier, and freer. What better challenges to tackle than the fears that keep us chained to our tiny, boring, closeted little lives?

Do yourself a favor: Right now, identify and tackle at least one of those inner fears. Find a reason to say "yes" today, and every day. You've only your inner coward to lose!


The Cost of Being Right: A High Price to Pay

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One of the highest prices we pay in life is the cost of being right. Some of us will sacrifice almost anything just in order to be the last one standing. A person who had been surrounded by their peers now sits alone, safe in the knowledge that he or she is right in their viewpoint even though they have alienated everyone around them. The ego is a mighty powerful entity left unchecked.

Have you ever attempted to reason with a child who knows everything? It's their way or no way at all. They simply cannot understand the concept of another person's point of view. Children go through a stage where they are extremely self-absorbed. Everything is 'mine' and they will not share. The world revolves around their desires and needs. This is a normal stage of childhood where the child is asserting their individuality and independence. The problem arises when the behavior is carried over into adulthood.

People who need to be right have little patience for others. They perceive their ideas as the right way to do things and their viewpoints as the right way to think. A differing opinion is a direct affront to their sense of well-being and they become extremely aggressive in their defense of themselves. They tend to alienate others due to their insistence on being 'right'. The importance of the issue in question doesn't seem to have any relevance. A simple trip to the store can end in disaster. Anger and a lack of empathy seem to be the rule of thumb.

People are different. We each have a totally unique set of DNA that will never be replicated short of cloning. I do not think the same as you do and vice-versa. Our brains are wired differently. What seems totally natural and easy for me to do may be close to impossible for you. Oftentimes we get caught in the thought pattern, " If I can see this so clearly, why in the world can't you?" "If I can perform this task, why can't you?" But the reality is that just because I can do something does not mean that you can. Nor does it make me better or right. Just different.

What is right and wrong? I bake a cake a certain way and I determine that it is the 'right' way to bake a cake. Yet my next-door neighbor uses an entirely different method and guess what? Her cake is just as good. Short of a cake being inedible, there is no right or wrong, just different ways of baking the cake. Some ways may be more efficient, true. But not necessarily the only way of doing it.

Webster's dictionary states the following as a definition of the word right: conforming to facts or truth; most favorable or desired. Can someone's opinion or idea be right because it is considered as conforming to the truth or a fact? By the way, whose truth? Or better yet, two viewpoints can each conform to the truth so which one is more right? Can someone's stand on a subject be the most favorable or desired? That is highly relative and I think that is the point. It's all relative.

Having to be right seems to be more akin to the definition of self-righteous which Webster's defines as convinced of one's own righteousness (being right) especially in contrast with the actions and beliefs of others: narrow-mindedly moralistic. Aha! Now we are getting closer. Someone who needs to be right would seem to be self-righteous, I.E., someone who feels that their way of seeing and doing things is superior to that of others.

This brings to mind the religious zealots who believe that their way of worshipping G-d is the only true way and that anyone who does not hold to their dogma is not only a non-believer but also an infidel. They have the deep need to convert the non-believer, believing that unless you hold to my way of thinking, you will be condemned to hell. My believing something different is considered a threat. This of course is an extreme case of but it certainly reveals the nature of being right.

What also pops up for me on the subject of being right is what often happens in a divorce. We all have stories of an acrimonious divorce where two people spend insane amounts of money to argue about trivialities just to get even and be in the right. The antagonists will pay their lawyers thousands of dollars in a fight over a living room chair just for the sake of besting the other person. Once again it shows the price people are willing to pay in support of their ego.

Why the intense need to be right? Myriad reasons come to mind: self esteem issues, low self-confidence, the past running the present, remnants of childhood adaptations, ego-centric behavior…the list goes on and on. I am of the opinion that it isn't so much the reasons (although it is important to understand why we do certain things) behind why we need to be right rather the self-knowledge that we are indeed involved in this kind of self-destructive behavior. We must first become aware of our need to be right and then examine the costs involved in our behavior.

What are the costs of being right? We come across as a know-it-all, which alienates people. We are unyielding and do not work well with others so we have a tendency not to be part of the team or community. We isolate ourselves. We turn away connectedness and love. We become an island unto ourselves. Most impactful is the fact that we close ourselves off to what the world has to offer because we know best.

"...people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right."
J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince

We will never recognize where our next opportunity lies if we do not remain open to possibilities. To remain receptive to what the world has to offer, we must keep an open mind and heart. We must learn to listen to what others have to say. We must be aware and conscious of what is being offered to us at any given moment. We must realize that there is much to gain from listening and not speaking. If I am too busy pushing my agenda, I cannot possibly hear what is being said and therefore I may miss out on what could be an opportunity to experience deep learning and personal growth.
Looking at the big picture versus the immediate helps put things in perspective. If I don't get my way, is it a matter of life and death? Will I even remember this incident in ten years from now? Some things are simply not worth the effort and being right all the time fits into that category.

Think of what it is like to be heard? How do you regard someone who takes a sincere interest in you and what you have to say? Those people who hold a genuine curiosity about others are magnets. We are attracted to them because they make us feel good about ourselves. They in turn are rewarded with deeper friendships, better working relationships, more meaningful and loving personal relationships and a universe that continually opens with more possibilities.

Start by simply noticing if you are overly invested in being right when you have a discussion with others, be it at work, at home, wherever. Just notice how you are being and perhaps, why? In the noticing you will become very aware of how you interact with others. Imagine being in their shoes and seeing through their eyes. What do you look like from their viewpoint? Is it a picture you like? If not, how could you do things differently?

As you notice and do things differently you may start to see dramatic changes. Or the changes may be subtler. As you do things differently, people will start to react differently. Your world will open up. You will start feeling more connected. You will learn new things that had remained closed off to you before. New possibilities for a life that is more meaningful and fulfilling will appear.

Being righteous and being self-righteous are at the opposite ends of the spectrum. It's the difference between people who are full of themselves versus people who do the right thing. Who do you choose? How do you want to be perceived? A life well lived is a life where being right is not the be-all end-all. The be-all end-all is a life well lived. Luckily, as human beings we were given free will and the ability to choose for ourselves. It all comes down to choice.