“If there is one secret to success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” ~Henry Ford
Before I begin any of my workshops or keynotes, I say one thing. I ask everyone to keep an open mind and warn them that they may hear some things they have never heard before that may rub up against their beliefs. My job, I say, is not to get you to agree with me or to change your beliefs. My job is to get you thinking about your own. I encourage them to disagree with me because disagreeing with me means I got them thinking.
Let’s face it, we all have different beliefs and down deep we all think our beliefs are the correct ones. Our society and religion as a whole have done an excellent job in getting us to think the collective beliefs are the way to go. We are secretly punished through side glances, rolling eyes and being unwelcomed in certain circles if we disagree.
I recently spoke for a large organization on stress management and balance. I am usually the closing speaker of the day so I like to sit in and listen to the other speakers so I can tie in what they say to my lecture. During this particular day I noticed an interesting phenomenon. The speaker right before me was a very open-minded Chaplain. He spoke for an hour on God, judgment when you get to heaven based on your wrong-doings and prayer. He was a very good speaker and had the audience captivated. We broke for lunch and then I was on stage.
As many of you may know by reading my blog or by hearing me speak, I am very open minded regarding religions. My belief is that we all find our own road to God. Each road is different and is made up of beliefs we have formed from our experiences in life thus far. There is no “right” or “wrong” road…that’s my opinion. Your “right” road is the one that works for you right now in your life-and it may change as you learn, experience, travel and meet new people.
In my lecture, I touched on the Law of Attraction, energy, past lives, how every person in our life is a teacher, sacred spiritual contracts and how we make decisions based on emotion and not logic. I said feelings are the physical manifestation of guidance from above and we can use our feelings as a decision-making tool. I watched the eyes roll and arms cross. I kept going.
Were there some individuals who embraced what I was saying…absolutely! What I found fascinating was how the Chaplain’s comments were welcomed and not questioned, but mine were silently made “wrong.” Now, do I know this is true for a fact? Did anyone come up to me and say “Chris you are full of sh*%!” No, of course not. But I felt it. Did I take it personal? No. Did I make them wrong? No. I actually loved it! By the end of my 4 hours, many of the ones who were rolling their eyes were now paying attention. I made them think and wonder. Fabulous!
The point is perception is reality and our individual perceptions differ. The key to relationships and world peace, in my humble opinion, is letting go of being right. Stop making others wrong simply because their opinion differs from your own. How do you know for sure that what you believe is right? I know I don’t. I am humble enough to believe that I may be wrong. I may get to heaven and the “fire and brimstone” version is actually true. If that’s the case I will walk into the fire knowing one thing – I did the best I could and that is all anyone, including God, asks for. We were made human and humans are not perfect. Get over it. Strive for excellence and not perfection and just do the best you can from where you are now. That is always enough…in my humble opinion.
“Aim for success, not perfection.” ~David Burns
Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and Google+.