Do you find yourself passing judgment on family, your peers, your superiors?
If you review the previous eight laws you’ll know that significance is about:
- obeying our conscience and the laws of a higher authority
- stretching ourselves
- learning the whole truth
- cultivating a winning attitude
- doing what’s right
- living harmoniously
However, our ability to become significant also depends on how we interpret others and their actions.
It comes from our judgment.
To achieve significance, be cautious with your judgment
To become significant we must have the clarity and strength of will to accept others without judgment – and, for that matter ourselves – for who and what they are in that moment.
We are all different – biologically, culturally, ethnically, religiously – and have become who we are at any given moment due to our individual experiences in life.
We also all grow and change at different paces. “Successful” people judge others based on these differences. At best, they tolerate people who are unlike them in one respect or another. At worst, they regard differences as threatening.
“Significant” people suspend judgments at a certain point, going beyond mere tolerance to attain and express true, deep, mindful acceptance of others and themselves, just as they are…
Our essence resides in our differences
Most of us understand that difference is the essence of humanity – that our unique characteristics should never be the source of hatred or conflict.
Significant people reach the greatest heights because they have come, through soul searching and hard intellectual work, to welcome and value uniqueness and difference.
Their cultivated stance of openness, grounded in a deep acceptance of their own authentic selves, allows them to stretch further, learn more, and avoid the pitfalls of resentment and anger.
They have become the best they can be by allowing others the same grace.
It also enables them to stretch, inspire, teach, and lead others in a way that leaves a lasting legacy. We’ve seen that we have to meet people where they are to help them grow.
Our essence resides in authenticity
We must work to become authentic beings if we hope to practice true, deep acceptance. This means being real, being present in the moment, making ourselves open and vulnerable, and experiencing a life filled with self-discipline and self-love.
Above all, authenticity entails active self-acceptance. It requires daily demonstrations of a willingness to own everything about us that makes us unique and special in the world…including our imperfections and limitations.
Authenticity allows us to serve as effective teachers and coaches because the more authentic we are, the more we can set a powerful and positive example for others to follow.
Our hearts become softer. We are more inclined to play with and hug our children, who depend on us for their learning and growth. Whether in business or at home, significant individuals are authentic people who empathize, forgive, and teach rather than judge and punish.
Most importantly, they encourage others to grow because they are currently and continuously growing themselves.
Four Suggested Action Steps to Learning Acceptance
Visit a homeless shelter or soup kitchen in your area and volunteer to serve those in need. By hearing the stories of the underserved, you will begin to learn to accept the unfortunate instead of judging them.
2. See the good
Psychologists regard receiving attention as the number one motivator of human performance – whether it’s bad or good.
If we can’t get attention for doing something good, we’ll seek attention for doing something bad. So, don’t hold negative behavior against someone.
If you discipline yourself to catch others doing something right and to reinforce the behaviors you want to be repeated; eventually, their behavior will improve and meet the organization’s standards.
Begin with only one person, and continue one person, one moment, at a time.
3. Practice emotional discipline
For one whole day, and then one full week, refuse to honk your horn at another driver for doing something stupid (obviously, we all have done what he or she just did!)
Refuse to yell at anyone at home or at work who angers or disappoints you.
Refuse to walk by a homeless person without giving him or her a dollar with an encouraging word.
Then continue this— for the rest of your life!
4. Write three notes a day
Write one note a day to a family member, a neighbor, and a coworker –that’s three total notes per day – that simply thanks them for who they are, for their example and friendship, and for what they do to make you a better person.
Start with familiar relationships, but then reach out to those different from you, whom you still admire and respect. We cannot reread a telephone conversation, and a text or an e-mail is too impersonal. A note in your handwriting is a precious gift they will never throw away!
If you start with these four actions, you’ll find yourself leading a life of significance absence of judgment.
Do you want to explore this concept in greater detail? I’ve shared more in my book, The Art of Significance.
Would you like to take your leadership to the next level? Contact me, and we’ll start on the journey together, whether it’s leadership training or life coaching. I will meet you where you are, and we’ll walk together.
If you are interested in learning more about living a life of significance, here are 3 more articles: