Friday, November 1, 2013

On patience, judgement and expectations

by Nick Charney RSS / cpsrenewalFacebook / cpsrenewalLinkedIn / Nick Charneytwitter / nickcharneygovloop / nickcharneyGoogle+ / nickcharney

This year has been incredibly humbling for me.

I had surgery, was immobilized for 12 weeks and had to learn to walk, run and play hockey again.

My folks are in the middle of a terrible separation. My mother moved into my home and I haven't spoken to my father in months.

I sought counselling  with my wife  through the employee assistance program to try to ensure that my home remained a happy and healthy place for us and our children.

In short, my world turned upside down and I learned a lot about patience, judgement and expectations

Patience is about being able to stay motivated over the long haul, to welcome and enjoy the fact that life moves slowly, to put your phone away and focus on the person in front of you because in that moment nothing is more important.

Judgement is often the opposite of patience. It comes quickly, focuses on a narrow slice of a bigger picture, is congruent with your cognitive biases and reinforces your current world view. It's a dangerous double-edged sword, a closed loop that you hold over others and that others hold over you, and yet we wield it so readily, so clumsily.

Expectations are rooted in our judgement. We project them onto others but they almost always fail to live up to them because our expectations aren't always their expectations. Often what we define as a lack of progress is defined by others as leaps and bounds; this is just a part of what it means to be human. What matters most isn't how you view others but rather how you view yourself. Can you reconcile with confidence the different views of yourself that others deem contradictory?

In other words, don't ever confuse who someone is with who you think they are. Being impatient with others often leads you to judge them by your own expectations and nothing can be more detrimental to your relationship with them than this.

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