Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Why do you have to be worse than me for me to be better ?

Why do you have to be worse than me for me to be better ?
Actually I could not work out a title for this one. It seemed that years of lessons suddenly came into sharp focus and all it took was a walk with my dogs and two nieces. Along the way they started their usual ‘picking’ at each other – a bad habit that involves each one telling me what the other one does wrong and is bad at and a habit that evokes a rather immediate mini lecture along the lines of,
“I hear enough about how bad I am at things and how bad everyone else is at work, I don’t need to hear that at home”.
And it is true! I have finally become aware of how continuous and prevalent the negative judgements aimed at me and others is. The most consistent feedback we either receive or give is about what we are bad at and what we are not doing.  It is draining not to mention demoralising and demotivating.
To give my niece her due, she immediately stopped telling me what her sister was bad at and instead started to tell me what she was good at…the problem was the wording.
“She is much better at Afrikaans than I am”. I was immediately struck by the comparison and how she had not really changed her thinking. Before she was making her sister wrong and so making herself right and in the process better than her sister. Now she was making her sister right at the exact same time as she made herself smaller and ‘less than’.
Do we really do that ? Do we really only know how to compliment and encourage people by making ourselves ‘less than’ and smaller ? Do our minds really work in such a black and white way  ? For someone else to be good requires everyone else to be bad ?
Think about how you word your day ? How many times do you compare yourself to other people and come to the conclusion that you are lacking ? How many times do  you do the reverse, make them lacking and congratulate yourself on being better ?
All of a sardine the concept that there is enough for everyone started to come into focus. Why does someone else have to loose for someone to win ? Why do you have to be worse than me for me to be better ?
For this month my focus is going to be on creating a win-win, rather than the standard win - loose. For August I am going to allow myself to be awesome at exactly the same time I allow everyone else to be. I am going to practice changing my thinking so that I am never comparing anyone to anyone or anything.
Imagine how awesome it would be if we lived in a world where your greatness was the focus of the day ? Now imagine how you can create that! And go!

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