Finding the Value of Compassion
“I am such an idiot.”
Have you ever felt that way about yourself, perhaps even said it out loud? I think most of us have at some point in our lives; maybe some of us still do on occasion. Recently I heard a friend of mine say that, and I was taken aback. Bright, personable and successful in his work, I was not expecting him to make such a self-deprecating remark, or to feel that way. But in that moment, he did. And it was regarding something he was attempting to do that I found admirable.
When we feel challenged or inadequate it is easy to be self-critical. Unfortunately, feeling that way about ourselves can also make some of us more critical of others.
In his book, “Mastering the Seven Decisions” Andy Andrews maps out a well-researched pathway that determines personal success. One of the seven decisions is, “The Compassion Decision.” Andrews explains that it can heal one in heart, mind and soul. He states that, “Harboring anger and resentment poisons our minds and hinders our ability to live the other six Decisions with any measure of effectiveness. Forgiveness frees our spirits.” This has been a powerful, multi-layered lesson for me over the years. One that has provided potent insights at various stages along my journey.
The decision to embrace compassion for self and others is given this affirmation by Andrews, “I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit. I know that God rarely uses a person whose main concern is what others are thinking.” By being able to faithfully embody this decision in our daily lives, we are then free and unencumbered to live the other six decisions Andrews so beautifully describes: accepting responsibility for our past and our future; being intentional about seeking wisdom; being a person of action; having a decided heart; making the conscious decision to be happy; and being determined to persist without exception.
There are going to be times when we are challenged and fall short. This is a natural part of being human. And understandably, that feels uncomfortable. Like conflict, most people would rather avoid such times, feelings and situations. I know I would. Throughout my life, mastering a variety of challenges has come fairly easily to me. Which makes trying to learn new things that are complicated, and at times counter-intuitive, all the more frustrating. The flip side however, is the richness and the joys that come with moving beyond our comfort zone to embrace learning, experience fresh insights and acquire new skills.
This lesson has come to me again and again as a mid-life, Internet marketer and coach. Because the one sure thing about the Internet is that once you’ve learned something, it will change. Yet, the only way to grow and enhance our lives is by going beyond that which is familiar, comfortable and routine. Life is active, and we are either growing or going stagnant. This is a common theme for me as I coach team members new to Internet marketing. It is as rewarding as it is routine to work with an earnest “newbie” as they grapple with and glean new insights about themselves and how best to help others; and to develop new skill–sets which will better equip them to excel and to achieve their heartfelt goals. Personal growth in the area of “mindset” is exciting whether one is personally experiencing it, or encouraging and witnessing it in others.
Every week I am blessed with stories of struggles overcome, preconceived ideas challenged, fresh insights dawning, or new skills learned. Often these triumphs take longer than we would like; sometimes much longer. Occasionally, much, much longer. This is why Andrews adds “without exception” to “The Persistent Decision.” That persistence is essential in realizing or attaining anything worthwhile is widely accepted. The key is in realizing that one must persist without exception. As Andrews puts it, “Reason can only be stretched so far, but faith has no limits. The only limit to my realization of tomorrow is the doubt to which I hold fast today.”
I am continually inspired by my team members who come to realize and embody this and engage in their business accordingly. I celebrate each and every one of them. The next time you are tempted to utter something like, “I am such an idiot,” stop yourself and examine the situation. Are you attempting to do something different, unfamiliar, or challenging? If so, commend yourself for stretching and trying to grow and do something new. As Bob Proctor states, “The universe is always for expansion and fuller expression.” It is within our very nature, and the nature of our beautiful world to want to grow: to be more, have more and do more. And if we need to risk feeling and maybe looking like an idiot, remember it is almost always well worth it.
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