I remember a time when I was much more opinionated. Maybe that’s not correctly stated. I think what I meant to say was, there was a time when I felt as though more people should share the same opinions as me.
Even though I’ve always been quite tolerant, my evolution has me being even more tolerant these days, and my quality of life and happiness quotient is much higher than before.
Once you start allowing everyone to make their own way in the best way they can with the tools in their possession, you have the ability to let it be (breathe) and there is magic in the let-it-be mindset.
Whether you’re in a romantic relationship, a business meeting, classroom, church, boot camp, climbing the corporate ladder, on any team from sports to Navy Seals, etc… there is magic in being able to state your case and let it be.
I’ve come to realize that any situation can have thousands of different potential ways that the details can play out with just as many varied results and what I’ve found (from experience and experimentation) is everything always works out for the best; even if it looks like the most horrible thing one could ever imagine is happening; the resulting effects are beneficial (either for the individual or the greater community). It doesn’t mean that a particular act or circumstance is not wrong – it very well could be – but the result serves a purpose that is beneficial.
Some of our historical martyrs were tortured and suffered greatly, yet in the moment – as bad as it was – they knew their circumstance served a greater good.
There is a simple principle that you get what you give. That is to say, if you are not tolerant with others (allowing them to live their lives in the best way they can with the tools they possess) then how could you possibly expect them to allow you to make decisions in your best interest and live the life you desire?
Not gonna happen.
I’ve found that simply stating my position while being frank, honest and open, then backing away is highly effective, both for my own state of mind and is a better form of service to others. I usually ask permission, first, like, “Can I be perfectly honest and transparent, here?” (pause) “Would that be okay?” Then I wait until I get acknowledgement from everyone in the room (even if it’s only one other person), then I say what’s on my mind.
If I am challenged, I don’t enter into an argument to defend my position. My position is only my position. I’m not saying that it’s right or wrong, it is only my opinion. It’s up to the other party (or parties) to figure out what to do with my statement – or not – whether to consider or ignore what I have to say. The more intellectual and savvy communicators may ask for clarification to better understand my position, which I will offer up to make certain that I am clearly heard (or understood). This method can add an exciting though-provoking opportunity to any boardroom or active conversation.
Taking the High Road
This is part of taking the high road. It’s about letting other people who are prone to strife and discourse to enjoy themselves and the level of discomfort that resonates with them, where they are at in their life’s journey today. It is always subject to change, though their dysfunction (wrong word) “communication style” may last a lifetime.
Give What You Want
It takes practice, but consider giving what you want, and either you will get what you give back, or the situation will change so that you can get what you give.
I work with many people and every day someone uses words like,
I don’t like…
I’m sick and tired of…
I hate it when…
I can’t believe…
I’m so upset because…
All which represent intolerance. They imply an I’m-right-you’re-wrong mindset. Why does anybody have to be right or wrong? If you could consider a more heart-centered approach to the same circumstances alternate responses could be,
I like that you found an idea that resonates with you.
You have a consistency of thought that is undeniable and could be envied by many.
I love it when you state your opinion with such emotion. You are very powerful.
I believe that what you believe is coming straight from your heart.
I’m at peace with allowing you to maintain your position and the way that you feel about it.
Be Open to Change
I am in the change business, and I deal mostly with people in transition. If you’re not open to the idea of change at the moment this will sound totally ridiculous to you (what am I saying? If you’re not open, you probably would not have read this far).
So, you are open. You’re like the many people who are making transitions in their lives, and the people around them may not like the change, so you will experience some resistance. By accepting that resistance will be part of your growth and that some struggle may be necessary to break through to be where you want to be, to enjoy the better life you know is waiting for you… Is it too much to ask that you give what you want?
If you want others to let you be, then maybe it’s time to allow others to be the way they are, where they are in the moment.
Move forward. Keep moving. Respectfully state your case, when appropriate or necessary then resume your forward movement, more mindful to allow the magic of