Frank Outlaw said (and a similar version of this quote is credited to Lao Tzu):
Watch your thoughts; they become words;
watch your words; they become actions;
watch your actions; they become habits;
watch your habits; they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
It’s a quote very dear to me, as I see it as a powerful memento. However, I make a little alteration when I read it, for aligning it more with my beliefs — I change the word “thoughts” with “intentions.” In my view, we can’t control our thoughts, but the intention behind our words and actions is crucial.
Do you want better relationships?
Aim to CONNECT BEFORE CORRECT.
Aim to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR FEELINGS.
Aim to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS.
CONNECT BEFORE CORRECT
When you have the intention to connect before correct, you see beyond “right” and “wrong,” you stop using moralistic judgments, and you don’t have the desire to punish.
Because you see the other as another human being in their quest for happiness, and you see that they are just trying to meet their needs with the best strategies they have at hand, even if their strategies are not very pleasant to you.
TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR FEELINGS
By taking responsibility for your feelings, you realize that what the other is saying or doing is just the trigger, not the cause, of your feelings. Your feelings come from your needs being met or not.
Your feelings change depending on your PERCEPTION of the degree your needs are met.
If you perceive your needs as met, you might feel joyful, inspired, satisfied or happy. If you perceive your needs as not met, you might feel sad, overwhelmed, resentful, scared or angry. What we feel comes from our needs, not from what others say or do — that is just the trigger.
TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS
By taking responsibility for your actions, you avoid acting from the energy of fear, guilt, shame, desire for reward, duty, obligation, and so forth. You take your power back, you take an active role in your own life, you choose consciously to meet your needs.
Chance to practice!
One of the essential steps I encourage my clients to take is to identify their “10 needs in my relationship(s)”. I give them a list to choose from, something like this one. The idea is to choose 10 needs they want to meet for themselves AND are willing to contribute to meet for the other.
A top might look like this:
To see the other and to be seen
The next step is to make the top 3, with the values and needs they require to be respected and met, for them to be happy and willing to give their best in that relationship.
The top might look like this:
Then comes the tricky part. I tell them to ask themselves, as often as possible the following questions:
In this relationship, right now, what’s my intention?
In this relationship, right now, am I acting with care for the needs of others AND mine?
In this relationship, right now, am I acting according to my top 3 needs?
I hope you find my tips useful. Send me an email if you need more clarity around them.
All the best,