Have you ever heard that you should catch people doing things well and appreciate them for it? What I’ve come to realise is that is all we ever need to do. Anything more is meddling, it is not serving you nor them. That includes our kids and our employees and coworkers.
I know, I know, I haven’t met these people you’re thinking of. But the aim is for you to feel good and, believe me, once you feel good, you are in a much better position to help others.
Let’s focus on you for a second. From the day you were born, you know that everyone around you meddled in your life, they likely still do. Opinions, rules, written and unwritten, all ‘for your own good’, all well meaning. All that nurture adding so many layers to your nature, you begin to feel like some version of the Michelin Man.
Be savvy enough to realise all the baggage we carry is as a result of others imposing their opinions on us. So in your position of power, as a parent or employer, it is the same baggage you can unconsciously create in your kids and perpetuate in your employees; no matter how well meaning.
As whole beings, it’s our job to first feel as good as we can in every circumstance that arises, to focus on ourselves. That doesn’t mean you are downright euphoric and living in la-la land, it means you are in tune with yourself and have the best perspective on whatever you are dealing with.
When we think, it affects our actions and that affects our experiences and how we feel about things; our thoughts literally create things, we are the creators of our own reality.
Think of how all the best things in your life happened (your dream job, dream home, the love of your life, your kids), all a series of small, seemingly insignificant events, that you couldn’t have planned, that came together. Like attracts like, so feeling good attracts more good things.
Instead of taking control of feeling good, we tend to let our feelings follow what we observe, feeling bad as much as we feel good, if not more. Our thoughts get stuck in endless subconscious loops that have been played and replayed since our childhood and tell us some version of us not being worthy,
All this holds at bay the clues you are seeking to move forwards towards what you really want. When you are not present, not in tune with yourself, you are not open to new ideas.
This week it has struck me how I’ve compartmentalized what I know and practice on this. The area of my life I’ve been focused on for a while is doing what I love for a living. On one hand I feel great about how well things are going for me when it comes to my life’s work, but on the other the results don’t reflect that feeling because — overall — I’m not feeling as good as I could in other areas of my life. Why? Too much meddling.
“I’ve had this notion that the role of a parent somehow involves much more intervention than is helpful in achieving my aim.”
Like most families I have kids that fight as much as they get along. The same was true in the office of my employees. Getting in the middle of it affects how I am feeling quicker than anything else. Being asked to referee something as complex as the energy of two siblings, or two coworkers, at different stages of development and ways of seeing the world, where I haven’t observed everything that has happened in the lead up to disagreement is a cumbersome impossibility.
When I say “in the lead up to” I’m literally talking about the sum of their life’s experiences. We are each made of trillions of cells, each their own consciousness. Our thoughts, actions and feelings create energy that can affect each one of those cells; our biology, neurocircuitry, neurochemistry, neurohormones, and even our genetic expression. So we have no real way of understanding how past interactions and the present situation are mingled in the cocktail of chemistry that has resulted in the current disagreement.
For kids, the older one often gets the raw end of the deal for hitting the younger one, which might sometimes be deserved, sometimes it isn’t. For employees we do the same thing, form perceptions or stereotypes and defer to that in the absence of all the information — which most often even those involved can’t even begin to understand or articulate.
I can ponder on these issues at length, and have. I could intervene between siblings or coworkers if I really wanted to, and have to differing degrees at differing times, but they are actually just good examples of things I need to butt out of.
In my case, much of this unconscious tuned-out time I’ve been spending is based on me getting involved in people’s lives where it’s not serving me or them. The energy created by the way I’m thinking, acting and feeling when I’m with the kids is, overall, keeping at bay a lot of the inspired thoughts and actions that would otherwise be flowing quite nicely if I were tuned in more of the time.
You might feel you have certain obligations as a parent or an employer, but much of this is based on your own Michelin Man patterning of meddling. While I’d still step in if my kids or someone else were in danger, or property was in danger of being damaged, my job, I am coming to realize, is to see the best in my kids and to set a positive example by taking control of how I feel in each situation.
Certainly as a manager over the years I’ve become more and more hands off, tending to be more interested in the bigger picture. Now I fervently believe that we should be supporting employees to self manage to achieve engagement and outcomes beyond those we’ve ever before seen.
Whatever opinion you have on how people can do better, including your kids, employees, and coworkers, you cannot know what is between them and their inner knowing; the trillions of thought interactions, feelings, and creations that are going on simultaneously, even they couldn’t explain it.
People learn through experience and imitation, they do not ever learn from what you say — unless they have deliberately sought you out to ask your opinion; even then they will likely only resonate with some of what you are saying.
“Give others the opportunity to find their own good feelings so they then deal with their challenges in a more productive and sustainable way”
Your job is to first and foremost feel good yourself, then help them connect with their inner knowing and get the heck out of the way. In that state you can’t but help uplift those around you.
When you feel good you are in a place of allowing other good things to come with more ease. When you make it a priority in all areas of your life then you will start to see the things that you want showing up faster and more easily than ever before.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.
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