There’s a lot of clichés in the personal development space. I will often repeat them because clichés are often overwhelming truths that we should pay more attention to than we do. One such idea, which doesn’t get nearly enough attention, is that empathy and forgiveness is the root of happiness in yourself.
If I could impress one personal development lesson it would be this: Have empathy for yourselves and others because we are all doing the very best we can.
It’s at this point that you are inevitably thinking about the co-worker you hate, your sexually harassing boss, your ex best friend who has been long written off, or any other number of people that you absolutely DON’T think is doing the absolute best they can.
Believe me, I know the feelings you have towards those people. The feelings are dark, cynical, and seductive. They will take over your life and leave you alone if you allow them to live in your head or your heart.
I’m not a reality TV watcher, but somehow a recent argument between Kim Kardashian and Kanye West got served to me by YouTube and I found it fascinating. Their famous argument is something that EVERYONE in a relationship is going to go through, so we can all learn from what is going on with this celebrity couple.
Here’s the often unspoken truth about personal development: When you grow as an individual, it’s going to put strain on your relationships - often to disastrous results.
For background’s sake, Kanye West is one of the most prolific rappers on Earth who has previously promoted all the trappings of rap music - derogatory language, objectification of women, self-worth derived from material things, and so on.
Recently and famously he has re-devoted his life to his Christian faith. He has sworn off creating negative content and music for “the culture” and is only going to make music that celebrates his love of Jesus Christ.
When an individual makes a dramatic turn like this, it is unavoidable that there will be conflict with those who have loved the old you. Kanye’s wife, Kim Kardashian, expressed this beautifully in an argument over whether or not she should dress sexy for other men to see when she said “your transformation doesn’t mean I’m in the same spot with you.”
In the Western business world, being late is a grave sin. It can lose you jobs, lose you clients, and generally tank your career and even your personal relationships.
This perspective that dominates the Western world has many benefits. It makes the trains run on time. It’s respectful to whoever your next meeting is with. It makes coordinating schedules relatively easy. It’s great for people who live in worlds with deadlines.
People who love planners, organization, and order generally thrive in our culture - especially in business.
Some people take this so seriously, that people will fire people, not hire people, and destroy relationships with people over tardiness or missed meetings.
What’s interesting is that while we here in America think that’s just the way things are, there are cultures and individuals around the world that view time differently. Here, we might consider those people lazy or call them loafers, but we should just recognize it for what it is: a difference in how we experience the world.
Almost everyone at some point in their life had a co-worker or a boss who was difficult to get along with (or just downright hateable). At its core, a professional relationship between two people isn’t really different than a friendship or a romantic relationship with someone - other than the fact that it feels forced because you both need to be there for other reasons like having to pay your bills. And when we recognize this, we have tremendous opportunity to grow in our professional lives by treating these office problems as the interpersonal problems they truly are.
Cheating on a significant other or spouse, as far as the United States goes, is the most evil thing a person can do. While most other moral issues fall into many shades of gray, infidelity is still very much black and white for so much of the world.
On the other hand, cheating is becoming more commonplace for men and women (very much so depending on how wide you want to draw the window of what you consider cheating).
Now while I don’t condone cheating, it is one of the most understandable behaviors on Earth if we look at it through the lens of our 6 human basic needs that drive all human behavior:
News of Amazon CEO and future world overlord Jeff Bezos and his wife getting a divorce is splashed all over the front page of the news today.
While I’m not a coach to either member of the marriage, we can be fairly certain that in spite of the marriage ending and their friendship continuing, neither planned to get divorced 25 years into their marriage.
Women in America are very familiar with how difficult it can be to "have it all" in today's world. Men too are learning the difficulty of being excellent in their career, great as a lover and partner, spiritually fulfilled, awesomely physically fit, and an amazing dad on top of it all.
Having it all is a lot of work.
A young Kanye West once summed it up when he wrote “I don’t know what’s better, getting laid or getting paid, I just know that when I’m getting one the other’s getting away.”
Your life coach.
The Andrew Warner Podcast: