One of the most powerful habits I have put into practice is no longer thinking about, worrying about, or otherwise considering- the motivation of others.
In truth, it is never possible to truly understand the intention or motivation of another person.
Still every day…
– Our conversations are guided by a perception we have of the other parties’ motivation.
– We spend countless hours trying to predict what someone will be motivated to do in the future.
– And like a highlight reel from the big game, we replay our story of someone’s past motivation over and over again in our minds.
I think about unproductive mental energy as analogous to any system.
- The force generated by the speed of travel is called ‘wind resistance.’
- Resistance associated with dragging an object across the floor is called ‘friction.’
- The reduction in power across an electrical system is called ‘impedance.’
The same phenomenon applies to the energy we expend through our activities and emotions. The term ‘emotionally drained’ describes the reduction in our physical energy as a result of our expenditure of mental energy.
Our energy is finite and energy expended on unproductive efforts cannot be recovered or used towards living our Purpose.
Like a professional cyclist compressing his body into a deep tuck against the wind, reducing resistance is the key to maintaining momentum and using our energy with maximum efficiency.
Here are some simple actions you can take to free yourself from the burden of deciphering the intention of others.
- Take the words and actions of others at face value
- As the first and most profound of Don Miguel’s Four Agreements states ‘Be impeccable with your word’
- Or as my mom frequently stated ‘Say what you mean and mean what you say.’
- When in doubt about what someone means or what they intend, seek clarification.
Think about what you stand to gain.
How much energy would you conserve; and how much energy could you apply to your purpose if you eliminated or even reduced this non-productive effort from your life?
How many hours could be returned to your day?
How many days could be returned to your year?
How many years could be returned to your short time on this planet?
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Have a powerful week!