There seem to be two extreme camps or schools of thought when it comes to getting what you want out of life. We have all heard of those people out there that push the idea that nobody is on your side, and that if you want to succeed in the world, then you have to make your wants, and desires your number one priority. Then there is the other extreme which states that if you do for others, then the people around you, or the universe, will give you everything that you want. It is my opinion that neither of these points of view are healthy, nor will they produce the end results that most people are really looking to achieve.
The school of thought that states that every action, and decision should be based upon the question of ones own wants, seems like it might make sense at first glance. However, upon closer examination, the idea shows itself to be a cop-out for self-centered, and egocentric behavior. While it is obvious, and very true that we should all take our personal needs into consideration, there is an equal need to take others into account at the same time. If you get what you want, but do so by hurting others, or living a life that lacks honor, how much joy can that be? Just because a person feels a drive to do certain things that they think will make them happy, does not make the actions appropriate, or healthy, for anyone involved.
The other ideology that says that we should simply do for others, can be equally harmful. In many cases this way of thinking and acting can turn into a manipulative ploy. We have all known the person who does for others with stings attached. Even though the expected return may not be verbally expressed, it is nonetheless often present. Over time, this type of behavior can foster resentment on both sides. The “giver” can start to resent the fact that the recipient does not act as they expected, and the recipient can start to feel guilt.
Since neither of these seem to produce a healthy way of going through life, how can we come to a balance that will yield greater harmony both within ourselves, and in our relationships? To counteract this type of mindset, it is important that we all think about the rights and feelings of others, and not just our own.
In NLP we often talk about the ecology of an action or outcome. What this refers to is the concept that we do not live in a vacuum, and that most every action will have an impact that will ripple outward across various parts of our lives. As a result it is important to always look at the potential effect that our actions will have on our lives and those around us.
By doing the above, at least we can come closer to being able to live a life of honor and balance.
If you are ready to start exploring more balance in your life, feel free to contact our office to arrange your free introductory session.
Stan Alexander, M.Ed., C.Ht.