Open Your Mind To New Ideas
~By Blair Ashby ~
Today the weather was wonderful. It was sunny, warm, slightly breezy, and after the recent cold spell, very welcome. So I went for a walk in the middle of the day. While walking, I came upon what appeared to be a fifty something year old son and his much older looking father. They were walking down the middle of the sidewalk, leaving no room to pass on either side of them. Fortunately, the son heard me overtaking them. He slowed down and moved behind his dad, giving me room to safely pass. His dad then also promptly slowed down and moved to the side of his son, again blocking my way. The son said, “Dad, you’re in the middle of the sidewalk. Move over so that others can pass.” Without even looking around, the father said, “There’s nobody else here. I can walk in the middle if I want to”, at which point the son told him someone was overtaking them. The father now looked around, saw me, and a look of irritation crossed his face. Then he moved over, while apologizing to me for being in the middle of the walkway.
This whole episode took about thirty seconds. It reminded of me how easily we get caught up in our own perspectives, often to the detriment of ourselves or others.
Assuming the look of irritation that crossed the father’s face was accurate as to what the father was feeling, that irritation could have been avoided by merely accepting that another person was also walking the pathway. Assuming the apology was honest, the negative emotions the father felt could also have been avoided by looking around before passing judgement on who was or was not present.
Suffering is simply defined as negative emotions. It appeared that the father subjected himself to a small measure of unnecessary suffering during this episode. In other words, the irritation and the negative emotions driving that apology served no purpose in making that gentleman’s life happier.
Just like that older man did, we subject ourselves to unnecessary suffering in almost every situation where we deny ourselves a wider perspective. Gaining a wider perspective is a discipline that can be learned. By nature, we try to shut out anything that doesn’t immediately serve our own momentum or beliefs. However, the rewards of a wider perspective are literally Joy, Peace, and Contentment.
Sometimes it’s as easy as looking around us. More often, though, we have to mentally put ourselves into unfamiliar situations. This can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. And again, the benefit is that when we do this, we tend to live a happier life. If we can see other perspectives, we can learn to accept them, even if we don’t agree with them. With that acceptance, we can stop experiencing most of the negative emotions that arise out of a lack of control or our expectations not being met. It’s a form of self-compassion. And you deserve that.
Try to open your mind to new ideas. You don’t have to like them, or even support them. However, if you can open your mind to unfamiliar things, you can learn from them and feel considerably less suffering about them. As a perfect and whole human being, you deserve this.
If you would like to feel more happiness, contact me. I offer a free thirty minute coaching session that can help you gain some perspective in your life.
May Joy, Peace, and Contentment fill your day.
Blair Ashby is a Life Coach, Speaker, Author of two books, and a Really Nice Guy. He compassionately meets people where they are in life. Then, using the tools of selfawareness and self communication, he helps them get to where they
want to be. Blair can be reached at Blair@BlairAshby.com or 720-789-4000. His website is www.BlairAshby.com.