Zen-Like? What is that? I see you shaking your head.
How many hours have you ever spent trying to change someone’s mind? I’ll wager thousands–if you add them ALL up. And I’ll also wager you were successful in only a handful. Ever wonder why?
I ran across this quote from Thich Nhat Hahn, a recently deceased sage and famous Buddhist monk and Zen master.
“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce.
Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce.
Blaming has no positive effect, nor does it try to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience: no blame, no reasoning, no idea, just understanding.
If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.”
A rather profound thought, isn’t it? Understand. Love. Situation changes.
There are two straightforward and intensely complex steps:
1 Articulate the other person’s view in your own words (so that they agree that what you say is their position.)
2 Let go of your desire to control or resolve the situation as you would like it to (so that you can be open to other options.)
Hint: this one-two punch feels very awkward at first. Yet, over time, it becomes a favourite go-to mechanism to bring in even more success, prosperity, and anything else you want. Zen-like.
Think about this the next time —
-you and your spouse have a disagreement
-you and your work colleagues do not see eye to eye
-you and your neighbour can’t agree on something
-you and your boss argue about what process is better
-you and yourself struggle with making a decision
Articulate the other person’s view in your own words and let go of your desire to control the situation.
Keeping Zen-like. Try it and let me know how it goes, eh?