“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” Carl Gustav Jung
by my friend Sean over at themindsetspprentice.com
Are You Judging Others?
In todays post I have some very important lessons to share with you on living a life of non-judgment, and viewing your experiences from multiple angles, rather than just one…
A few weeks ago I went to the gas station and observed a pretty poor customer experience from the attendant within the gas station.
I went inside, gave my credit card and said, “$25 on #11 please…” The guy took the card without acknowledgment, eye contact or answer, put it through the system, and gave the card back to me without a word.
In my mind I was just thinking, ‘I wonder how many more dedicated customers this man would have if he gave the people who walked through his door great energy and a hearty welcome?”
When I filled up my gas tank, it stopped at about $21, so I went back inside to retrieve the change from the attendant. The moment I asked for it, he looked confused for a moment, then asked me if I had used a credit card. When I responded ‘yes,’ he made a huge sigh and said, “You’re messing up my cash register guy…” as he proceeded to pull out the change in a different way than usual (he wasn’t sure how to get the change since it was a credit card, rather than cash)…
I thought to myself, “Are you kidding me? Wow! What terrible service” (I admit, I have high standards for customer/client experience). I parted that gas station simply thinking how it, nor the guy, would ever be successful… (this was a very strong judgment on my part…)
Well, a couple weeks later when I came back to that same gas station, the memory of my last experience came up. I started envisioning a scenario that would give my ego a strong sense of pleasure…The scenario begins in the same way the situation above did, except it ends in a slightly different way:
Sean: “Change on #11 please…”
Attendant: *big sigh* “You’re messing up my cash register guy…’ *Attendant gives me my change*
Sean: “Oh! I’m sorry! I wouldn’t want to inconvenience you! I’ll be sure to go to the gas station next door for now on and encourage all my friends in this town to do the same…”
(’Oh snap! I’ll show him!’ I was thinking)
But there was a slightly different experience that actually occurred this time around…
Sean: “Change on #11 please…” *Waiting eagerly for my moment to give the ‘oh snap’ response*
Attendant: *Calmly looking at the cash register with a bit of confusion, he calmly called someone else working the station over to help him out…once he realized he was looking at the change for the wrong number he put on a big smile, laughed, looked up at me and said: “Ha! I was looking at the wrong number! Here you go!” *as he gave me my change…*
I was a little confused. The word stupefied comes to mind actually. Here my ego was expecting one situation, waiting eagerly, and in a sense, was disappointed! (by the way, our ego feeds itself on drama, and that’s what mine was looking for…)
The Lessons on Perspective and Judgment
What’s the moral of the story?
There’s some really interesting lessons I walked away with this, which also connected to lessons on ‘perspectives’ my mentor Dallyce and I have discussed in detail many times…
Lesson #1: The obvious one in the beginning, for the attendant, would be to make sure he has the intention of treating his clients & customers with great energy, so that they want to come back again and again.
The Lesson of Non-Judgment:
What I did the first time at the gas station was act in pure judgment. From one experience I judged the gas station attendant with the idea that the way he was acting is ‘who he is,’ that’s how he is ‘all the time,’ and hey, you know what? ‘I’ll show him!!’
Who am I to make that kind of judgment though? Who are any of us to judge who a person is off of one interaction (or many for that matter)? Do we not all have days in which we’re not at the top of our ‘positive game?’ Maybe it was a low point for him…what right did I have to come to the conclusion that how he acted that first day was WHO he is?
Side thought: Who are you? I encourage you to ask yourself…’who am I? Am I the person who gave my best friend a loving hug a moment ago, or am I the person who angrily said “Watch it!” when someone accidentally stepped on my foot?’ The answer really is neither. This may challenge some belief systems, but consider that your actions are not who you are…but that there is something much more to you than the simple actions of good or bad you make every single day…there’s a higher-self…a self that’s beyond ego, beyond circumstances, and beyond the physical world…
The Lesson of Perspectives:
It is a common human habit to place judgment on things. Judgment in itself is a solidification of a perspective as being truth.
Is YOUR perspective truth though?
What I’m getting at is that 5 people can all have the same experience, yet all have different experiences.
There we go with the dichotomies again!
What that means is that each person places their own perspective on the single experience itself, which thus creates their own unique experience…
One person may view the experience as good, another may view it as bad, another views it as neutral, and yet another is conflicted between all sides.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a perspective. Perspectives are great! It’s part of what makes our physical self what it is. Our mind is not ‘evil’ for creating perspectives, it’s simply creating a painting for itself…a piece of artwork depicting a situation or scenario.
The key is to allow your mind to create a perspective while remaining in non-judgment. In that way you are able to hold the perspective in which your mind created, whilst being open to the perspectives of others. In so practicing this way of life you are able to experience the world in many different ways!
More on the painting analogy: view your perspectives just like several painters would view a canvas. Each one of them is going to paint it with their own touch. Each painting may appeal to different people and personalities…heck, if the painter is not an egotistical stuck up shit and is open to the ‘perspectives’ of others, then he may in fact say after all the paintings have been created, “You know what? I like your painting better than mine! That’s a lovely perspective.” (he was in a state of creation from the highest place: creating without attachment nor judgment)
Living on the Icosahedron
Rather than living your life through the eyes of a straight line, imagine living it as a Icosahedron. See the shape to the left? Imagine that experiences occur at the core of this 20 sides, and 12 pointed shape: the Icosahedron.
In living an Icosahedron life, the perspectives in which you are able to choose from are the points on all the different sides! If you lived in a straight line, you’d only be able to view life from one perspective…
In this case however you may start at a point looking into the experience with one perspective, but you immediately realize that it’s not the only ‘point’ of view. It’s not the only angle!
Living with multiple points of view can dramatically expand your mind! You don’t have to agree with each point of view necessarily, but if you can understand them, you will be living your life with much more compassion and caring for the ways other live their life…
(Side note: By the way I hope I’m never interviewed live about this analogy because for the life of me I don’t even know how to pronounce Icosahedron!)
So, next time you have an experience…whether your immediate reaction is that it’s good or bad, STEP ASIDE! Take a look at it from another perspective! And I’m not just talking about something simple. Take something challenging. When you go through an experience for example in which you feel you were sincerely wronged by another…as HARD as it is, step aside and consider the different perspectives that could be taken in the scenario.
I’m curious, what experiences have you had in which you judged another person or situation, but realize now that it could have been looked at from different angles and perspectives? I’ll look forward to our discussion to come!
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