In this article you will learn one of the best secrets to compassion as well as my 7th best tip for your successful year: how to stop judging or criticizing and, instead, increase your understanding with compassion so that you can experience personal growth and success.
My intention in this article is to help you grow in compassion and I hope that the content I share with you today will resonate with your heart.
Our society is quick to judge and criticize much more than praise and encourage. This happens at work and also in the home environment. I think there is a difference between leading negatively and leading positively. For example, if judging and criticizing are only used for the purpose of proving that we are right, it means we are limited in our belief and the result is usually resentment from the other party. On the other hand, if judging and criticizing are used for the purpose of righteousness or growth such a behaviour has a positive effect and is based on love.
Do you believe that a lot of our time is wasted criticizing and judging ourselves and others negatively in a way that is not very constructive? I think it could be more valuable if it was based on love as opposed to being based on the e.g.o (edging God out). What I mean by that is that judgement and criticism are best applied for the purpose of growth.
Media researches show that negative headlines sell more newspapers than positive ones. We are drawn to them and they increase our curiosity as if we were taking good news for granted. On the BBC Future website, the psychologist Tom Stafford wrote on the 24th of July 2014 the following headline: "Why are newspapers and TV broadcasts filled with disaster, corruption and incompetence? It may be because we’re drawn to depressing stories without realising."
This is called 'negativity bias.'
I think negative news are designed to help us shrink as opposed to helping us grow. The consequences are that we are creating a fearful world where we believe that life is happening to us as opposed to happening for us. Yes, there are challenges in the world however readers and viewers also need encouragement and inspiration.
I do not read the newspapers or only once in a blue moon and here is the reason why. I made the experiment a couple of years ago to read the newspaper every day for a week. I must confess that at the end of the week I felt so drained and gloomy that I stopped reading the news. This was my personal experience.
If you read the newspaper every day or watch the news every night try to do the same experiment for a week but the other way around. Stop reading or watching the news for a week and observe whether there is a shift in your energy levels and perception.
Our minds are powerful and a mind that feeds itself with negativity expects negative news or something dreadful to happen more often than not.
As you know, my seventh best tip for your successful year is to stop criticising and judging in order to grow in compassion. It is not an easy thing to do.
What is compassion and how do you grow in compassion?
The English dictionary gives the following definition of compassion: "To be inclined to help or be merciful."
One of the best secrets to compassion is the principle Stephen Covey revealed in his international bestselling book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.' The foundation of his principle is:
“Seek first to understand then to be understood.”
This is a principle I personally apply especially when I am quick to judge or criticize others or myself.
I think that when we apply this principle: “Seek first to understand then to be understood” we can transform our relationships positively and a lot of conflicts and misunderstandings in relationships could be solved much faster.
Conflict is often the result of another person not behaving the way we want them to behave. For example, we expect our partner to behave in a certain way however we become unhappy when they do not. A compassionate heart seeks first to understand then to be understood. Therefore, what is needed is a lot of wisdom and viewing all of our relationships and the world with new eyes and a pure heart.
For example, a colleague disagrees with you and seems a 'bit off.' Since you now have the awareness, it is important to remember that this person is suffering internally from a sense of lack; not being enough, beautiful enough, bold enough, rich enough, efficient enough, loved enough, good enough etc. Their attitude will reflect their sense of lack. Therefore, how they feel internally creates the particular behaviour you disagree with. This is compassion. It increases your ability to see their inner light, their greatness even though it does not seem that way from an external viewpoint.
I believe that showing compassion is particularly important when you have strong views about something, you totally disagree with. The other way will be shown to you so that you accept others' opinion in order to become more tolerant. It does not mean that you totally agree with them but that you accept them for who they are. This will broaden your understanding that we are all at various levels of awareness and will help you deepen your well of love.
If growing in compassion resonates with your heart and you find yourself in a judging and criticizing phase which flares up particularly when you feel stressed, pause for a moment and tell yourself: “Seek first to understand then to be understood.” This has the magical effect of purifying your heart, calming your mind and making you a better person.
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