Today we are going to talk about a subject that I honestly believe contributes to half of the pain that we experience in our lives. It affects us in our personal lives, our business dealings, and our work life. It causes us to make bad decisions, generates self-doubt, and makes us cynical about the world we live in.
What could possibly be such a strong influence on us and so common that nearly the entire human population is guilty of doing it? The inability to accept people as they are!
I bet this is groundbreaking news for you.
How many times have you...
caught yourself, or a friend, complain, "I thought he/she would change when..."?
heard or said, "I know if only they realized..."
been told by or told a friend, "They can't be that good/bad..."?
Did any of those statements sound familiar? I'm not a gambling man, but if I were, I would be willing to bet good money that you've said, or heard, these statements on a regular basis.
It is just part of human nature to judge people by our own standards. But, our own standards come from a very biased perspective.
I read a study one time that intelligent people tend to overestimate other people and people with lesser abilities tend to underestimate other people. The cause for this? Intelligent people think that because something is easy for them, then it must be easy for everybody else; and people who are not as gifted intellectually think that because a task is difficult for them, then it must be difficult for the rest of the human population.
By the same token, people who are basically good-hearted expect the same in others. That is why they get taken advantage of. Good-hearted, honest people don't accept that some people are just from a different mindset and will not extend themselves to help others.
It's a fact of life that people are who and what they are.
You need to re-read that last sentence.
Some people are good for you, some are bad for you, and most are somewhere in the middle. Some are good with their hands and some with their heads. However, I have discovered that everybody has some strengths and, by our biased perception of them, some shortcomings. If you're lucky, most of the time you'll be surrounded by people you can call on often for help to advance your life journey toward building the best you possible.
My challenge for you this week:
Break away from the habit of expecting people to be what YOU would like them to be.
Review your cell phone contact list.
Take about 30 minutes to think about the people you have in your life and list their strengths. Be honest!
Do not allow yourself to think about their weaknesses, since you have no power to change them.
Acknowledge them for who and what they are and decide whether you need to increase or decrease the amount of time and influence you allow them to have in your life.
Implement this time allotment plan!
Practice, practice, practice thought control so you can break away from the habit of not accepting people for who they are.