Most people “suffer” of the compulsion of ‘being liked’ when they enter a relationship – which turns the dynamic of that relationship into something less than pleasant, for all parties involved.
Then, out of frustration, the person who craved liking “riots” and goes for the opposite choice: “I don’t care about them!” type of attitude…
But, there is a happy medium – the attitude of Play, of mutual respect, of kindness, of calibrating and sending signals of “this is Play”… AND, when ‘conflicts’ or ‘misunderstandings’ arise, solve them from the same place (rather than from the place of “I am right, you are wrong”)…
I found that many people talk about Meditation in terms of “stop your thoughts”, or “you have to sit down for one hour daily, with your eyes closed, without thinking”…
In teaching people about Meditation or Mindfulness, the most common
“objection” that I hear is that “it’s difficult to just sit there, with my eyes closed, because that’s when I start Having Thoughts, and I Feel the urge to do something more useful” (well, something along those lines…)
I had the same experience, in the past. What happened for me, though, is that I realized that Meditation or Mindfulness is Not something that you do for one hour and then you resume your habitual way of being for the rest of the day… Rather, Meditation is something that you [can] do all day long, or at any moment you feel like…
… just by Observing without Judging…
It will feel weird at the beginning (because we still Identify with the Thoughts we might entertain at a given moment, or because we still take those Thoughts as telling us something about the future). You will have the impulse to “do something”, as response to those Thoughts … Well, look AT that impulse and Don’t “do” anything about that impulse, neither. Just “Observe without Judging” even that tendency. “Observe without Judging” yourself having that tendency (notice for yourself “oh, look, I started to get worried”)
After a while, you will love the easiness, the stillness, the peace that will grow more and more inside you…
Try it out and see what happens… It won’t “take time” out of your day… It won’t include “more things to do” on your [already busy] list… Just bring a different quality to the “doing”, by noticing that you are Not “the thing that you are doing or thinking about”… noticing that you are “something” who “Does the doing or the thinking”…
That, in and of itself, it’s a moment of enlightenment, of Presence, of Connection…
Techniques are in big demand nowadays – we’ve been led to believe that this is what we need – a good technique, if we want to accomplish anything. Anytime we find ourselves “in trouble”, the first thing we focus on is “what is the best thing To Do in order to get to where I want?”
Question: What would need to be true for us, to do that – to look for a way ‘to operate UPON a particular situation? To look for what to Do, rather than what to Be, for resolving it?
Obviously, we need to see ourselves as Separate of that situation and of the other people involved. We want a particular outcome to unfold and we use techniques to control the external circumstances to make that possible. We start from the presumption that what makes that outcome possible is a particular external circumstance. Thus, we focus on controlling the external circumstances…
Paradoxically, however, we live through a different understanding when it comes to our bodies. And, I would say, this understanding works much better and much more effective.
Think of this for a moment…
– you’re standing on a boat, floating through the waves
– you want to walk from one end to the other of it
– however, the waves are shaking the boat
– are you looking for a technique to control the waves (i.e., the external circumstances)?
– or are you focusing on maintaining the balance of your body, knowing that this is how you increase the chances for you to reach to the other end of the boat? And, even if you use various ‘helping techniques’, you know that their true and first purpose is maintaining the balance of your body, rather than manipulating the conditions, or even than ‘getting there’ – because we intrinsically Know that “walking” is not separated from our body… our body Makes the ‘walking’.
I bet that the second answer make the best sense to you…
What if this is what we first and foremost need, if we want to create in Alignment to the Natural Order of Things: Balance of the Mind, Presence, Connection?
What if the purpose of a technique is to facilitate for Us to Connect and Become Present, rather than “making Them” behave in a particular way?
There’s no ‘fixed’ world ‘out-there’, that you need to carefully examine and make a decision that fits it perfectly… It’s just a continuous and organic unfolding, as a reflection of who we are being, moment by moment…
There’s only “the right Way to go about [whatever it is that you choose to do]”…
And that is “having Clarity of mind”… Presence. Connection. Understanding.
I found myself wasting a lot of time playing with my phone, tweaking its settings or playing games, etc – perhaps you can relate to that, too. Not doing anything in particular, just pushing buttons, curious of what happens if I do it, then evaluate and continue from there…
I was thinking “This is what Play actually means: throw the ball in the air and see what happens; then, wherever it happens for the ball to fall, we continue from there… basically, put things in motion and then go along with whatever unfolds.”
For a while, I was blaming myself for wasting time. Then, a better question came up: Why are we doing it?
And the answer is that Play is what we are supposed to do, it’s our natural state in which we learn and thrive. Thus, in a world where we are all habituated to Work/ to “endure” the activity for the sake of a promised outcome, we take any chance to “escape” that and fall into Play/ enjoying the activity for its own sake.
Time and time again, we “slip” back into Work, by playing the game with an Expectation to win, by becoming frustrated if we don’t.
Interestingly enough, although we have an intention to “win” the game, winning is not really the main part. How do I know that? Imagine playing a game, and that you are Always winning…. Yes, at the beginning you’ll feel good, but, after a while, I bet you’ll get bored and you’ll start a different game.
In exchange, take a look at how we are running our lives: we want the “success” and we go after this outcome as if our lives depend on it. We turned our lives into Work. We “force” things into happening, forgetting or ignoring that we are all connected and part of a bigger entity. For that entity to function harmoniously, all integrant parts must work together harmoniously – like a clock. Think for a moment what happens if a wheel within a clock starts to “take charge”, “make things happen” and act in its own interest, disregarding the rest of the mechanism…
I also believe that this “entity” that we are part of (call it Nature, Universe, etc) does not exist for its own benefit, but for ours. Thus, when one has a desire and it allows the “entity” to find a harmonious way to bring that into existence (i.e., without imposing into the functioning of the whole), then the probability for it to happen increases.
That’s where Play comes in handy, because one still has to Act. When one is Acting without Forcing things, but by Playing – by putting things in motion, by “throwing the ball in the air” and then, wherever the ball falls, going from there. You’re not imposing the ball to fall on a particular spot, you allow the Nature to determine where the ball falls. Then, you take it from there and throw it again towards your goal.
That’s Influence and that’s Living in alignment with the Natural Order of Things.
Many coaching conversations go around the subject of Motivation. People say “I know what I need to do, but I am not motivated to do it.”
Some people told me “If I knew that the action would be certain to lead to the result I want, then I would do it instantly.”
Going deeper, we discovered, perhaps, the main culprit – the thinking of “If I am successful, then I am worthy; but if I am not successful, then I am worthless.” In other words, people inadvertently link their sense of Identity with the results of their actions, and the risk for an unsuccessful result makes them stop acting altogether.
What if you were to look at those ‘results’ as you look at the ‘weather’? Both of them are out of your control and neither of them could be a criteria for who you are as a person.
– If something is important to you, do you give up doing it, just because the weather is different than expected? Would you not marry the person you love, just because the temperature dropped today?
– Do you decide that you are a bad or incapable person, based on the level of humidity in the atmosphere today?
Obviously, you’ll adjust your actions to the weather, but it remains foolish to use it for judging your worthiness or for deciding if you should Ever start or continue a particular project.
[I’ll talk more about this subject in future blogs, because it’s so common in the human psyche – and it’s so easy to give up trying when you take your thoughts or your feelings too seriously; however, becoming free to act the way you want is just an insight away]
It’s a common tendency, having ancestral roots in our psyche. But what if we are wrongfully interpreting the meaning of this word?
Etymologically speaking, Approve = A + Prove
The prefix “a” means “not, near, without, toward” (latin).
So, “approve” means “not proved [yet]”, as in “it may not be popular”, not “in trend”.
In other words, “approve” does not refer to “me” (as a person, something that others should do for me), but to “the thing” I’m about to do and that I am shy about. It is “the thing” that is not “proved yet.”
It was a time when, if I wanted to sail around the world, people would not approve of me. However, once that activity was proved to be valid, if I said that I wanted to sail around the world, “being approved of” wouldn’t be a problem anymore.
If you feel the need “to be approved”, most probably that means that – in your reality – the thing you’re just about to do is “not proved yet”. Most probably, you feel unsure about it and you crave the approval of others, to give you permission to do it.
That’s a good moment to realize that your feeling of “craving approval” says nothing about the “provability” of the thing you’re about to do. That means that you are, actually, allowed to go and do it, and – as a result – prove it.
And, once you’ve done it, that thing is now “proved” and you are “approved of”.
Just for fun, look at the page below: Failed Technology Predictions. It’s interesting how many people expressed that they “don’t approve” of something, until that thing was, actually, demonstrated by having been done.
We enter every interaction with (at least) two motivations; one is Primary and one is Secondary. My Primary focus will determine the dynamic of that interaction and it will either hinder or facilitate the achievement of the Secondary intention. In a way, the Primary intention is the “channel” through which we reach our Secondary intention.
When you meet a salesperson who obviously wants something From you, how interested will you be in opening yourself and creating a true relationship with that person?
How would that be different if that salesperson conveys that they are alright regardless of your buying decision? Moreover, not only they are alright, but they are so genuinely detached of that outcome that they afford to take their time to learn about you as a person, to be curious about you as a human being. And, if they were to graciously ask you if you want to know about their product, how much more open will you be to say Yes to that, knowing that you can trust them for not using any “tactics” to “make you buy”?
Brian Tracy (or Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi?) said somewhere that we achieve the most important things in life by focusing on something else – for instance, we find happiness by doing something we love…
Next time you enter a sales interaction, Choose Connection as your Main intention and BE that person… This doesn’t mean that you don’t want them to buy, only that it would be Secondary to you. The more genuine the Connection (and your non-attachment to the outcome), the more likely they will trust you and will actually Listen to you when you’ll be talking about your Secondary intention.