Issue 12: April 2016
There are some people whom you would trust with just about anything….others, not so much. The folks whose decision-making skills you worry about the most could be anyone in your life: An employee (think shipment of 10 live mice to the office and not 10 mouse pads); a spouse (think get-rich-quick llama farm investment); or even a parent (think Mom running off to the Bahamas for a weekend with a fellow senior she met online—two weeks earlier)! All these situations leave us wondering, what in blazes were they thinking?
While you can probably regain your trust in your mom, you may not so easily recover from anything you perceive as a long series of faulty decisions.
The thing is that none of us ever fail ALL the time, but when you have been severely impacted by someone else’s failures, you sometimes begin to define the person by that shortcoming—even if it took place during the Jurassic Era. You expect that they are going to fail again and again and again, and this manifests as mistrust. The result is that you are reluctant to value their insight—who wants ordering advice from the guy responsible for the live lab rat debacle? Even worse, who wants any advice from him at all—even on where to place the new copy machine? Big mistakes tend to stain people, and getting the stain out can be tough.
Ironically, the thing most needed by those around us whom we don’t always trust to make the best decision is the thing we have the hardest time giving them: Our belief that they are capable of doing better. Even more valuable to them is our belief that they are in no uncertain terms going to do amazing things. This may all sound good on paper, but in real life it is a darned difficult thing to imagine that your friend, sister or beloved puppy being paper trained is really going to get their life together after umpteen mistakes.
Well, here is how you begin to change that belief:
Recognize that no one ever fails all the time, and it is our own warped perspective that is making us see someone as a failure (it is also a convenient way to avert attention from our own failures).
Identify and celebrate the areas in which that person does succeed. Our culture tends to focus on material success—luxury cars and beautiful bodies—what about gentleness and support?
Imagine a future for this person that is beyond anything they have ever imagined for themselves. Really…Stop reading for 5 seconds and see them in a whole new and fabulous life …It should be such a spectacular realization of their biggest dreams that if they walked in on your vision of what they can become, they would not recognize themselves.
When the next full moon comes out and you focus on transitions, think about the changes the people closest to you are struggling to make, and believe that those changes are possible.
NEXT FULL MOON: April 22nd, 2016