How to Fix Your Partner
You are meant to have an optimal life, one that's happy, successful, abundant and of great contribution. My mission is to help you achieve that.
This week’s question hints on my passion and my biggest frustration. It comes from a reader. She writes:
I attended your 10x Your Productivity workshop.
After the workshop, a question popped up in my head, that we didn’t really discuss. For some reason I put it on a high shelf for a while, but I think it should be asked at some point.
I’m having this mindset of growth for quite a while already and I feel I’m doing quite good. I can say that I am a truly happy and truly evolving being.
On the other hand, with my personal growth, I feel an increasing gap between me and my partner. I’m putting some effort in inspiring him, which works to some extent. But with my pace of change, one of us stays behind and I didn’t really learn how to deal with it yet.
I’d like to ask if you have any valuable comments on this topic or links to your blog articles.
I think it’s also a very important aspect of the increased productivity we were discussing as you want to be on the same page with your loved ones.
Thanks a lot in advance and have an amazing day!
First of all, I would like to thank this courageous reader for posting this important question, because this is something that many of us have struggled with at some point. It’s human to desire the best for our people. We all would like our loved ones to grow spiritually, mentally and professionally.
I must admit that this used to be my number one frustration. It used to make me terribly angry to see huge potential wasted in ignorance or fear. It hurt me even more when that untapped potential was the one of the people I love. These are the 6 ways I have learned to transform my anger into something productive (for them, for me and for the rest of the world):
1. Let go
Do you know that Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Jews believe that God cannot make you do anything? Yes, the almighty cannot change your free will. Consider that for a moment. If this is something that the greatest power cannot do, why do we feel frustrated when we are not able either? Remember the old proverb: “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink”. Let go of the idea that you can influence the behavior of anyone: your husband, your mother, your child, your boss, your subordinates, your neighbors, etc. No one has power to make anyone do anything. No one has the power to make you do anything. You don’t have the power to change the behavior of anyone. Let go.
Personal development is not one dimensional. As we grow, we learn to forgive, to love, to say no, to take action, etc. In fact, it’s an ever evolving learning, when you think you know anything, a new experience comes to teach you yet a new dimension of any skill.
It’s extremely complex to assess the progress of each individual. Our unique combination of childhood experiences, personalities, points of view, make our journey unique.
Years ago our little family was in financial and health distress. I went inwards: journaled, meditated, wrote, etc. My husband went out: networking meetings, business conferences, etc. I thought he was wrong. I thought he was in denial and avoidance. Now I see that my behavior brought me directly into depression and that I could learn a lot from his choice. Talking with people has a healing effect. Our opposite reactions came from our childhood mental programming. I was taught not to talk about my problems, to tough it up, to solve my issues alone. He was taught that people are good and that he could share his pain and problems with others. You know, that depression might be one of the best things that happened to me. I learned so much. I grew so much. Among others I learned to ask for help.
Your loved ones have a completely different story than yours. No matter how strange their behavior appears to you, they are developing. Trust life. Trust wellbeing. You, your partner, the rest of the world is evolving, is growing, is learning. Trust.
Now that you understand that the development of all of us is different, you can value that. When you appreciate their journey, your bond will grow deeper. Appreciation is magic. Reflect on its meaning:
- to be grateful or thankful for: They appreciated his thoughtfulness
- to value or regard highly; place a high estimate on: to appreciate good wine
- to be fully conscious of; be aware of; detect: to appreciate the dangers of a situation
- to increase in value: Property values appreciated yearly
When you appreciate your loved ones, you will not need to change them, teach them, or inspire them.
I used to think that my mom needed to learn so much. So I used to have arguments with her, trying to teach her. After I’ve let go my desire to change her, I took on appreciation. She never learned to say “I love you”. That hurt me immensely. I was hungry for her love. Just until I used appreciation, I realized how she expressed her feelings. Her “I love you” came out as “your hair looks horrible”, “your clothes are wrinkled”, etc. Once I decoded this, my stress went down and I was able to reply to her: “I love you too”.
A huge transformation happened when I decoded her message. Firstly, I felt better. I felt that she always loved me, she just didn’t say it with the words I expected. Most importantly, she realized that she could actually say “I love you” directly.
So ask yourself, “what does this actually mean?” This question is of great help when they do anything that you label wrong. Look for the feeling behind. There might be fear, love, or guilt. Love them back. Love will just generate more love.
5. Make them your spiritual teachers
So, why not see our loved ones (especially those ones who we think are less evolved) as great spiritual teachers. You know, when we want someone to learn or to do something differently, it’s usually because we haven’t conquered that same thing. Do you remember the example of my mother? I thought that SHE didn’t know how to say “I love you”. The reality was that I didn’t know how to hear when she did say it.
In my “prehistory”, when I was a manager, I used to be very frustrated with a fellow manager. He was so aggressive and directive. He didn’t allow any creativity from his team. I was exactly the opposite: very democratic, very flexible. I asked myself: “Is there something I can learn from him?” The answer was YES! I could learn the very thing that made me angry. I could learn from him how to guide my team with more clarity. Being a bit more directive could improve my leadership.
I know what you’ll say: he was not a loved one. Well, I had the same experience with my son. He was very little, one or two years old. I was the mom, the grownup, the one who knows better, correct? I wanted to feed him healthy, organic, delicious food. He refused and refused. I forced him. Result? He threw up. A very good moment to ask myself: “Is there something I can learn from him?” Saying NO and listening to my own body are great skills I need to learn from him.
Give the benefit of the doubt to your loved ones. Their “wrong” behavior could be the very thing you need to learn. Ask yourself: “ Is there something I can learn from him?” Open yourself to learn. Open yourself for magic.
6. Be Your Best Self
Concentrate in what you can do. They only thing that you can control is your own behavior. Do so. Adopt great habits. Do them consistently. Say “thank you”, “I love you”, “sorry”. Eat more vegetables. Drink more water. Listen to understand. Sleep better. Exercise. Have an empty inbox. Deliver outstanding value in every conversation, in all you do. Your results will turn heads. When they ask you, you can show them the path. When they ask you! It has to come from them.
Do you want to do something magnificent with your one and precious life?
Now, I would love to hear from you.
I would love to hear your wisdom.
How do you deal with the differences
in development with your loved ones?
Please, share your wisdom directly in the comments below. Let's start a wave of vibrancy, excitement, enthusiasm for life. Let's live fully!
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Make your week wonderful!