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The following is from the Tyack Health website.

You are amazing!

Most of us don’t hear these words enough, especially from ourselves. The meaning we each give events in our daily lives has a profound impact on our overall health. It can bring us peace, happiness and satisfaction or it can cause distress, worry, anger and resentment.

We tend to make judgements so quickly and so conclusively that we exclude ourselves from any opportunity to really see what’s going on and consequently hamstring ourselves from truly understanding the real truth.

There is nothing more important than how we see and treat ourselves and other people. People who are highly self-critical also tend to be overly critical of others. When we seek to acknowledge what is going on for ourselves deep down or to ‘really’ hear someone else’s real story, the truth behind who they are and where they are coming from is often a revelation to us. As humans, we do the things we do for specific reasons. We may not always fully understand why we overreact but there is a predictable, traceable link. If we can better understand and appreciate the reasons behind our thinking and behaviour patterns, this awareness can lead us to mini-paradigm shifts, which leads to breakthroughs in our own growth as human beings. We all have a ‘shadow-self’ that makes meaning of events in our lives, filtered through our past life story. This context builds our paradigms and frames how we see our world. It controls our reality.

The late Dr Stephen Covey shared how he became acutely aware of his own flaw in judging others after he had this personal experience:

“I remember a mini-Paradigm Shift I experienced one Sunday morning on a subway in New York. People were sitting quietly — some reading newspapers, some lost in thought, some resting with their eyes closed. It was a calm, peaceful scene. Then suddenly, a man and his children entered the subway car. The children were so loud and rambunctious that instantly the whole climate changed.

The man sat down next to me and closed his eyes, apparently oblivious to the situation. The children were yelling back and forth, throwing things, even grabbing people’s papers. It was very disturbing. And yet, the man sitting next to me did nothing.

It was difficult not to feel irritated. I could not believe that he could be so insensitive to let his children run wild like that and do nothing about it, taking no responsibility at all. It was easy to see that everyone else on the subway felt irritated, too. So finally, with what I felt was unusual patience and restraint, I turned to him and said, “Sir, your children are really disturbing a lot of people. I wonder if you couldn’t control them a little more?

The man lifted his gaze as if to come to a consciousness of the situation for the first time and said softly, “Oh, you’re right. I guess I should do something about it. We just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago. I don’t know what to think, and I guess they don’t know how to handle it either.”

Can you imagine what I felt at that moment? My paradigm shifted. Suddenly I saw things differently, I felt differently, I behaved differently. My irritation vanished. I didn’t have to worry about controlling my attitude or my behaviour; my heart was filled with the man’s pain. Feelings of sympathy and compassion flowed freely. “Your wife just died? Oh, I’m so sorry. Can you tell me about it? What can I do to help?” Everything changed in an instant.

It becomes obvious that if we want to make relatively minor changes in our lives, we can perhaps appropriately focus on our attitudes and behaviours. But if we want to make significant, quantum change, we need to work on our basic paradigms.”

We can’t control what happens to us in life but we can control what ‘meaning’ we give it. This is what determines our quality of life to a large extent. Those around us, whom we tend to misjudge, are in the same boat. Understanding this is both reassuring and empowering.

When you were very young you instinctively knew you were amazing. This process called ‘growing up’ may have distracted us into trying to be perfect. Yet amazing is rarely perfect. Nothing has changed. You are just an older version of the younger you. Amazing never left, you just learnt to attach a different meaning to your concept of you. I hope I have been able to remind you of this, and maybe it’s time you start to recognise and enjoy it again?
It becomes obvious that if we want to make relatively minor changes in our lives, we can perhaps appropriately focus on our attitudes and behaviours.  But if we want to make significant, quantum change, we need to work on our basic paradigms.” 

We can’t control what happens to us in life but we can control what ‘meaning’ we give it. This is what determines our quality of life to a large extent. Those around us, whom we tend to misjudge, are in the same boat. Understanding this is both reassuring and empowering.

When you were very young you instinctively knew you were amazing. This process called ‘growing up’ may have distracted us into trying to be perfect. Yet amazing is rarely perfect. Nothing has changed. You are just an older version of the younger you. Amazing never left, you just learnt to attach a different meaning to your concept of you. I hope I have been able to remind you of this, and maybe it’s time you start to recognise and enjoy it again?

Joel Tyack

Deep in Thought

We can only achieve quantum improvements in our lives as we quit hacking at the leaves of attitude and behaviour and get to work on the root;  the paradigms from which our attitudes and behaviours flow.    Stephen Covey

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