* Years ago during a discussion with someone who worked as a professional therapist, she recommended that people decrease their stress by drawing three circles on a piece of paper that overlapped. The inner circle would be those that are closest to you that you live with, see every day - like your wife, your son, your pet. The next circle would be your closest friends and finally your co-workers. Anyone outside those circles are not worth working yourself into a frenzy about. You deal with the smallest circle first, then the next, then the next as your order of priority. Everyone else is not a priority. It really helps put one's life in perspective and helps people slow down. I recommend our readers try this out on their own.
-- Circle Of Influence --
Every once in a while I get this crazy notion that I can change the course of world events through hard work, determination, and positive energy. What would I change? I would move away from the current pattern of lies, deceit, and hatred and head toward honesty, integrity, and tolerance. What if everyone told the truth and expressed straightforward opinions? Nothing would be disguised in layers of untruth and mutated, mutilated facts but rather there would just be trustworthy discourse, actions, and deeds. In reality (or unreality, depending on how you take this idea), pretty soon no worries would exist as everything would be direct and in the open as well as being sincere and decent.
Naturally this would be difficult to take at first. Imagine someone really telling you how your hair looks, that you have obviously gained several pounds, or that your plan of action is riddled with erroneous beliefs and unreliable direction. Criticism, even when it is helpful in the long run, is not easy to swallow, especially if you have endeavored to design something totally magnificent - hair, size, or work attempts. In time and given that you have added a layer of armor to prevent you from taking advice personally, I think we would thrive. You would not have to duck, dive, or wonder because every matter, every item would be laid out clearly. Give and take would be an ordinary part of this - you listen to and appreciate others just as they listen to and appreciate you.
That is my ideal world and I guess it will probably require several years (or millennia) to attain this utopian masterpiece of living. In the meantime I must re-evaluate my realm of impact, my sphere of influence. These must be individuals and groups that I trust completely and who trust me in return. No secrets, no behind-the door or under-the table business is allowed. Everything is put forth straight with room for input and the recognition that through the inspired insight of others, some things may have to be adjusted or eliminated. No hurt feelings with no one left out or angry because we will form a solid, binding team of the highest degree of uprightness and integrity. Envision the wonderfulness of the world!
As to my sphere, I must start with my husband and children. Because of our many-year relationship I have to think that I have had some bit of influence in their way of thinking and reacting. No, none of them listens all of the time nor to they behave in the manner I prefer all of the time, but that is of little consequence as long as we engage in give-and take coupled with mutual respect. I learn from them and I know that they occasionally learn from me.
Next comes extended family. Of course these folks are harder to touch as our contact is less constant and they have many other influences and experiences outside of my realm. But I can exemplify goodness and kindness, offer help and support, and even wind in a few wise suggestions. They can take them or leave them, but if these suggestions are powerful and good, unselfish and empowering, I just have to believe they will listen a little and embrace a lot and react with glee.
Then there are colleagues and co-workers. I must separate them into two categories as I view colleagues as my team members in this give-and take relationship. We build on each other's strengths as we listen and improve. A colleague never leaves me exhausted with angst although I may be pooped out and dog-tired with miraculous the ideas and input each offers. Co-workers simply work in the same building. We have jobs and friends in common and sometimes we even operate in team capacity, but most often we are ships passing in the hall - they do their job and leave me alone so that I can accomplish mine. Separate but good would be fine description.
There are also individuals who shirk, smirk, and disengage from the team and engage in deceit to create turmoil and mistrust. Unless you are in a leadership position and possess the bravery to fire them, especially if you hired them, these folks are tolerated, ignored, and force you to implement duck-and-cover techniques to avoid their wrath. Fortunately, these people are rarely contagious. They may spew vehemence but this does not mean that you must inherently follow suit.
Finally my sphere of influence reaches people outside of home and work when I write a piece such as this and they read it and think about it and most delightedly act upon the ideas. Or they might be present in an audience where I complete a presentation. Or they might be someone I greet on the plane and we strike up an amazing conversation. Or they might be just about anyone who takes the time to connect with me just as I take the time to connect with them. And so that is my sphere - flexible, growing, encompassing those who want to join and not including those who do not. A refocus on my part widens my realm as I add kindness, understanding, integrity, and truth to my Soul and Being.
Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at: http://brummet.ca
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