1. We have to stop telling ourselves that the happiest people are the ones who smile the most. – Behind the polite smiles and greetings people give you, some are hurting and lonely. Don’t just come and go. See them. Care. Share. Listen. Love. We can’t always see people’s pain, but they can always feel our kindness. So be way kinder than necessary.
2. We have to stop telling ourselves that the people we love are (or should be) “perfect.” – When we expect perfection we tend to overlook goodness. And the truth is, no one is perfect. At times, the confident lose confidence, the patient misplace their patience, the generous act selfish, and the informed second-guess what they know. It happens to all of us too. We make mistakes, we lose our tempers, and we get caught off guard. We stumble, we slip, and we fall sometimes. But that’s the worst of it… we have our moments. Most of the time we’re pretty darn good, despite our flaws. So treat the people you love accordingly – give them the space to be human.
3. We have to stop telling ourselves that the people who are doing things differently are doing things wrong. – We all take different roads seeking fulfillment, joy, and success. Just because someone isn’t on your road, doesn’t mean they are lost.
4. We have to stop telling ourselves that the people we disagree with (or dislike) don’t deserve our kindness. – The exact opposite is true. The way we treat people we strongly disagree with is a report card on what we’ve learned about love, compassion, and humility.
5. We have to stop telling ourselves that we can’t trust people we don’t know. – Some people build too many walls in their lives and not enough bridges. Don’t be one of them. Open yourself up. Take small chances on people. Let them prove your doubts wrong, gradually, over time.
6. We have to stop telling ourselves that the rude people of the world are personally targeting us. – We can’t take things too personally, even if it seems personal. Rarely do people do things because of us. They do things because of them. And there is a huge amount of freedom that comes to us when we detach from other people’s behaviors. So just remember, the way others treat you is their problem, how you react is yours.
7. We have to stop telling ourselves that other people are our excuse for being unhappy, unsuccessful, etc. – We may not be able control all the things people say and do to us, but we can decide not to be reduced by them. We can choose to forgive, or we can choose to forget. We can choose to stay, or we can choose to go. We can choose whatever helps us grow. There’s always a positive choice to make. Thus, the only real, lasting conflict you will ever have in your life won’t be with others, but with yourself… and how you choose to respond… and the daily rituals you choose to follow.