Judge Not..Unless You’re Judging Yourself.

That is the most difficult thing of all. It is far more difficult to judge oneself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself correctly, then you are truly a man of wisdom

Antoine de Saint- Exupèry  ~ The Little Prince

Judge not, lest ye be judged yourself… Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could live this way. The world would be a happier place for a start, and a it would be a world in which we all supported and helped each other to become the best that we could be. Sounds like a fairy tale, and unfortunately it is. We judge others, whether we are conscious of it or not and social media has only made the problem worse.

Judgement is not all bad. It depends on the type, and context. We sometimes judge others harshly because we believe in them and have an idea of their true potential which they are not living up to. So, in this instance, initial judgement is followed by constructive criticism, advice, guidance and help with which we hope that they will realise what they are capable of, and start living up to it. This, however, is the exception to the rule.

We often waste valuable time and energy putting others down, whether that be to justify our own decisions and choices, or lift ourselves and feel better. This is just plain wrong, though. What business is it of yours what somebody else does for a living, or how they dress and how they choose to spend their free time?! Your attention should be directed at your own life, and your decisions, choices and actions. What does this achieve? Negative results. Instead of reflecting on what you have to be thankful for, you scrutinise what others have and kick yourself for not having the same, or more. Judging other people is the surest path to unhappiness and dissatisfaction, and who wants to willingly make themselves feel miserable or jealous?! It makes no sense.

Of course, it goes without saying that the best thing you could possibly do is not to judge at all. After all, everyone has the right to live their own life as they please, as long as their actions and words are not causing upset or distress to anybody else. Plus, we all have our own demons to fight and challenges to overcome. Live and let live. Rather than judging and criticising others, treat them with kindness and compassion. If you must judge, apply that scrutiny to your own life instead.

Ask yourself…Are you where you want to be in life? Are you happy with the person you are right now? If not, what could you do today to change this? Are you living up to your potential? Are you striving every day to become the best version of yourself?

Answer all of the above positively, and you will be well on your way to becoming the best you can be. Chances are that you will have already have started to reap the rewards of your hard work, so your focus will be on continuing your success, and not on what others are doing and whether you agree with it. Basically, if you are regularly reflecting on the above and working hard to improve yourself, you are unlikely to feel the urge to stand in judgement of anybody else. Why? Simply put..You will find yourself too busy focusing on your own life and the impact which you have on others to even think about what somebody else may or may not be doing. Life is a journey of constant learning, growth and improvement and once you realise this, and the potential which you have within you to achieve great things, your only concern will be to develop yourself and to nurture, help and support others to become the best that they can be too.

In a world where we are encouraged to adopt a dog-eat-dog mentality and judge others in order that we might rise above them, be the exception. Focus on yourself, and be your own harshest critic, testing your limits and pushing yourself to find out what you are really capable of. Then lend a helping hand to others, so that they may also do the same.

The only person you should judge is yourself. Your only competition is yourself. The world is a massive place, and there is plenty of room in it for us all to lift each other and become successful

Your Words, And How You Use Them

Achieving success, reaching our goals and realising our potential is so much more than just getting a better job or starting a business, so that you can lots of money to buy nice things. It’s about becoming the best version of ourselves, and the best that we can be in all areas of our lives. It’s about becoming well-rounded people who raise and inspire others while we constantly pursue personal and professional development.

So, what i’d like to ask you today, is that you be nice to other people. Treat others with kindness, compassion and respect. Even those you would rather just avoid. Put all judgement aside, and aim to be a good person. Those who you often think deserve it least, turn out to be those who need it the most.

This is easier said than done, though, as we all get tired, frustrated, angry or upset and in turn take this out on other people. We are very quick to brush this off as harmless stress-relief, and just expect those on the receiving end to understand and forgive us if we apologise later. But, once those words come out of your mouth, it’s already too late. You can’t take them back, and you can’t undo the damage which has been caused. Before you lash out at somebody else, just remember that they are a human being with feelings. They are somebody’s mum, dad, daughter, son, brother, sister… Ask yourself, would you treat your own loved ones so badly?

You have no idea what struggles other people face on a daily basis, and the potential damage that one rude comment can do to another’s confidence and self-esteem. By the same token, you also have no idea the extent to which one positive, encouraging or supporting comment can do them the world of good.

Your  words, actions and body language have tremendous power. So, think very carefully about how you will use them. You can either build someone up or tear them down, without even realising it.

In a world full of big egos and where a dog- eat- dog mentality prevails, be the exception. Success doesn’t have to be achieved by trampling on the hopes, dreams or self worth of others. It can be achieved by believing in, supporting and raising others. Rather than discourage people, or try to pretend that you are something special or that nobody else can achieve what you have, help others to believe in themselves. Support others in the pursuit of their own dreams. Who knows..one day they might become a major client of yours, or you might end up collecting their artwork, but that might never happen if you become just another negative voice pouring scorn and derision on them.

Your words and actions carry tremendous power, so please use them wisely.

Choose Kindness To Others Over Competition Against Them

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.

Og Mandino

If ever you find yourself in doubt as to which approach to take, kindness or competition,  choose kindness. Kindness and compassion are what we need more of, in business as much as in daily life. However, you would be forgiven for thinking the opposite.

Popular culture, best depicted in films such as “Wall Street” and “Wolf of Wall Street”, or series such as “Billions”, would have you believe otherwise. They would have us believe that life is one big competition, and if you want to achieve success, fame and fortune, this can only be done by crushing your opponents and taking everything you can.

There are many different kinds of competition, which can be seen everywhere we look, from the gym to the boardroom. Competition also exists in nature, but that is again very different. In nature, competition is a fight for life and a preservation of a species. Contrary to the lies that the media scaremongers peddle, the human race is safe. For now. That is not to say that people do not face terrible hardships of the worst kind due to natural disasters. But rarely will we be caught in a fight for our lives.

Competition is not about finding the best way to beat others, in order to gain a particular advantage, reward or stand out from the crowd. Any competition you partake in, should ultimately be against yourself. Forget about circumstances outside of your control, such as the strengths and weaknesses of a colleague who is chasing the same promotion, or a competitor in a race. Focus instead on what you can control. Yourself. Challenge yourself to become the best possible version of you. Increase your knowledge, physical fitness and sharpen your skills. Beat any perceived opponents by being the best version of yourself.

When finding yourself being drawn into competition with others, there is a very real danger that you end up forgetting who you are. You change and make sacrifices to the point where you could almost become a new person, completely different to the real you who only comes out when nobody else is around.

The healthiest competition is when you focus your efforts on improving yourself, challenging yourself daily. Wake up each morning with the intention of taking steps during the day which, when repeated consistently over time will make you more knowledgeable, fitter, and more polished in a particular skill or whatever else you desire. This is what competition should look like. After all, as you learn, improve and grow, you become better able to serve those around you.

Which brings us back to kindness. As you grow, develop, progress and taste the sweet nectar of success, PAY IT FORWARD. Share your experiences and what you have learned so that others may be inspired to strive to become the best version of themselves too. Who knows, the person you help today could become your business partner or a mentor to troubled youths tomorrow.

Challenge yourself to chase after your goals daily with vigour and determination and share your experiences with others so that they may be inspired to do the same. The world has plenty of successful people who adopt the Gordon Gecko and Jordan Belfort mentality of greed being good, but what it really needs is more is successful people who act with kindness and compassion, improving the lives of those around them as well as their own.

The healthiest comptition occurs when average people win by putting above average effort.

Colin Powell

Be Kind (Charles Bukowski)

we are always asked
to understand the other person’s
viewpoint
no matter how
out-dated
foolish or
obnoxious.

one is asked
to view
their total error
their life-waste
with
kindliness,
especially if they are
aged.

but age is the total of
our doing.
they have aged
badly
because they have
lived
out of focus,
they have refused to
see.

not their fault?

whose fault?
mine?

I am asked to hide
my viewpoint
from them
for fear of their
fear.

age is no crime

but the shame
of a deliberately
wasted
life

among so many
deliberately
wasted
lives

is.

Pay It Forward

At some point in our lives, someone gave us a chance when nobody else would. We received a random act of kindness and nothing was asked in return. Somebody believed in us, and helped us. Maybe we were offered a job despite lacking experience. Perhaps we were caught doing something we shouldn’t have, but were given a second chance. Whatever form it may have taken, if we think hard enough, we can all bring to mind at least one instance in which somebody saw enough in us that they were prepared to take a gamble.

In times gone by, helping others was a more common practice but somewhere along the way we seem to have become a bit more selfish. Today, people are becoming increasingly driven by self-interest and self-promotion, and ignorant of the world around them. Self confidence is good, and we do need to work on ourselves before we can help others BUT it’s the last part that we are forgetting. We are focusing on ourselves and forgetting that our experiences and knowledge can be a source of help for someone else. Social media posts increasingly seem to revolve around somebody’s latest luxury purchase or their luxurious lifestyle. While we should absolutely share what makes us happy and motivates us, I feel that there is an opportunity being wasted. Rather than your latest watch, why not share some of your knowledge or experience so that you might inspire and motivate others? Share what you have learned on your journey and how you have developed along the way. Or give a glimpse of what life is really like, when the cameras are off, for an entrepreneur, writer, actor, artist…

What I am asking, is for you to pay it forward. Take that kindness, belief, trust or opportunity which you benefited from, and use it to help somebody else who has no real way of returning the favour. Inspire them, in turn, to pay it forward themselves when the opportunity presents itself. In this way, we have something of a virtuous cycle, in which we help others through random acts of kindness and they then do the same for someone else. This is applicable in all areas of life, from business to personal relationships and has the potential to be a huge force for good.

Let’s return to the social media example for a moment. Even if there is a social media strategy in place, and the self-promotion is helping to grow your account and increase your influence, you can still pay it forward. Even if you only devote one Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Snapchat post to helping others, it has the potential to be seen by, and inspire, millions of people around the world. This inspirational or informative post might help someone in Australia find the strength to over come a challenge they are facing. It might provide the spark for someone in India who dreams of launching their own business. It might give strength to someone in England who is trying to overcome issues with their self confidence. With the help of the internet, your act of kindness can help people all over the world in a multitude of ways. As a happy coincidence, the more awareness that spreads of what you have posted, it could even serve to enhance your online presence and reputation. Rather than compete with others in showing the world how great you are and what you have, stand out from the crowd and share instead some of your wisdom.

It’s not just online that we can pay it forward. You might be interviewing a candidate who doesn’t quite tick all of the boxes, but if they interview well perhaps you might give them a chance to prove themselves. You might have a friend who is launching a business and would welcome your support. When the opportunity presents itself, however it presents itself, please take it. As well as good art, music and literature, the world needs us to be more considerate towards, and supportive of, each other. Help someone who just needs a chance, and in the future they may be the one helping you.

Before you help others, help yourself.

I recently watched a video in which serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk warns that you need to be selfish before you can even think of being selfless. I was initially surprised to hear this because they are complete opposites, but it gave me plenty of food for thought. A few days later, I had a flight to catch. As usual, my mind wandered as the safety demonstration began, but I came back around just in time to hear the announcement instruct passengers that, in the event of an emergency, they should secure their own safety vest before helping others with theirs. In other words, only after you have helped yourself should you attempt to help others. Cue even more reflection.

After my initial skepticism, I actually began to understand and appreciate the brilliance of this advice. If your intentions are noble and you only wish to help others and be kind, the first step is to be kind to yourself. After all, if you are struggling in your personal life or career, how are you going to help anyone else?

Helping others in place of helping yourself will neither make your troubles go away, nor is it a substitute for them. Simply put, if you prioritise the needs of others over your own, it’s just another form of escapism.

In order to achieve anything in life, regardless of your goals, you need to first work on yourself. You need to define your purpose, identify your goals and learn to become resilient in the face of challenges and setbacks. This, in turn, will help you to become stronger and more rounded as a person. From that position, you can use your experiences to help other people meet the challenges which they may be facing.

In short, the more you work on yourself and build your self-awareness and strength, the better you will be able to help others and make a difference in their lives.

 

Be kind online

We live in a digital, connected, age and more of our lives are being spent online. For a growing number of people, this is their main source of communication, information or entertainment.

Please don’t get me wrong. This is a wonderful thing, and opens the door to an incredible amount of opportunities and experiences. There is, however, a dark side of which we need to be aware. Thankfully, with a little effort, we can do something about it. 

The problem stems from how we regard the time we spend online. For some it provides a space in which they can take a break from their daily lives and adopt a new persona, in effect becoming someone else. In person someone might be polite and respectful, only to adopt an online alter ego through which they vent their pent-up frustration anonymously. It”s the lack of empathy in these online interactions which is worrying.

It”s easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment but we must always strive to treat others with respect. Regardless of whether we are communicating and interacting with them online or in person. Growing up, we are taught to treat others as we ourselves would like to be treated. It is now more important than ever that we remind ourselves of this.

We all have the power to brighten up the world around us and to bring happiness, but it is through our interactions with others that we can achieve this.

We all have frustrations and annoyancestors which build within us, but there are better outlets for this, such as exercising or spending time outdoors in nature. 

Our ultimate aim should be to leave a positive impression on everyone with whom we interact. It is simply not possible to do this every single time, but that does not mean that we should not at least try. We should aim to;

  • Be mindful that there is a real person on the other end of every interaction or conversation. You are communicating with a human being who has feelings which can be hurt by your angry comments.
  • In your online interactions, only say that which you would be prepared to say in person, if the two of you were to meet.
  • Be yourself (unless, of course, you are an entertainer, actor, comedian, musician…). Drop the alter-ego and just be you. This opens the door for genuine interactions which could lead to wonderful new places.
  • Be kind. You have no idea what demons others are fighting, and how much of a positive impact they might experience after some positivity or encouragement from you.

One thing, above all, worth bearing in mind is the permanence of our online interactions. Increasingly,  a prospective client, employer, business partner or date will turn to Google and carry out a quick search of our name in order to get a feel for who we are before meeting in person. So don’t sabotage your future success by saying something online, just to vent your frustratons,  which you would never say in person.