Being Observant is the Facilitator for Change!
Part II – A note to my readers: This Rambling continues my train of thought from the last post on “being an uncut diamond” and my own experiences in polishing the rough edges to discover the brilliance within.
If you are not observant to what is going on around you, you cannot change.
There are things in life we cannot change. For instance, I am a full-fledged, 100 percent Norwegian, a genetic gift that I used to be overly prideful of and now am simply proud of. (I’ll explain the difference later.) I am sure you have similar attributes you cannot change and are perhaps proud of. We each have unique attributes that make us interesting and so much fun to get to know more intimately. Our attributes can make the soul tick and become the heartbeat in our relationships. If we don’t take the time to share and learn about personal attributes, our relationships can become shallow, less trusting, and lack intimacy.
How did my personal transition from being prideful to proud evolve? Why do I feel it has made a significant difference in my life? I am of the belief that without being an observant individual, observant to what is being said, observant to what is going on around us, observant to personal behavior and tone of conversation, observant of what is being written by those far more talented and insightful than us, we would not have experience change and growth. So……….Being Observant is a Facilitator for Change!
I have discovered and maybe you have as well, that there are things we can change about ourselves if our attitude is more than, “This is just who I am!”.
I have learned that changes and maturity can occur if we truly care. However, first we need to discover what needs change and why. And, is it really change or is it the intentional and deliberate process of engaging others (like a diamond cutter) who brings out the brilliance in a gem that was always within us?
I am not using “brilliance” in the sense of vanity, but rather as a description of making the best of the God-given talents we have. It is my opinion that not doing so is a waste and an insult to our creator.
Perhaps you are wondering (as I did!) about the difference between being prideful and proud. I have learned through experiential discovery, and maturity, that there is a significant difference—a difference that can impact the outcome of so many aspects in our lives.
You can use the dictionary of your choice but basically, proud is defined as “having a proper amount of self-respect; characterized by feelings of pride.” Whereas prideful is defined as “a haughty attitude shown by somebody who believes, often unjustifiably, that he or she is better than others.” When I realized the difference, I was almost appalled by the manner I had used to express myself; I was prideful rather than proud.
Are there areas in your life where perhaps you’ve experienced this as well? Just a thought and question to ponder.
As I get older, I have had to work on being more transparent and vulnerable in my communication. In the past, I believe I have been reasonably good at conversation, but not communication. The two are dramatically different. With communication comes connection and intimacy, I have had to learn and experience that vulnerability and transparency is healthy and actually leads to more meaningful relationships, whether business or personal (which includes friends and a romantic intimate relationship). You may be thinking, what is the difference between the two?
Communication and Conversation: (Encarta) “A sense of mutual understanding and sympathy; the exchange of information (e.g. by means of speaking, writing, or using a common system of signs or behavior). And similarly, conversation is “the activity of talking to somebody informally; an informal talk with somebody, especially about opinions, ideas, feelings, or everyday matters.”
As opposed to: Communication: (according to Bing) “What is effective communication? Communication is about more than just exchanging information. It’s about understanding the emotion and intentions behind the information.”
Change and maturity is a lifetime “work in progress” process that relies on being receptive to and valuing the input of others as well as having a variety of life experiences. For me, that includes reading diverse books, going to Nicaragua, attending my Men’s Bible Study group and a men’s monthly gathering for meaningful conversation, going to Haiti, speaking at church about my faith, and looking for other opportunities to do things that get me out of my own head.
Stop and think, what are yours? Do you have a partner to share these experiences with and are you intentionally working on being “Co-Authors” together on the book of “US”?
We do not mature and change without the help of others, being a “lone wolf” produces inferior results. All of this change and maturity has required guidance from those around me. My personal positive reaction to change has added color and perspective—perspective that may very well be different than what I want to hear! However, those perspectives (from meaningful relationships of value) are healthy and of significance in life.
I continue, as I suspect most of us are, to be a work in progress. How are you doing? Do you have that someone in your life with whom, together, you can be a work in progress?
I think that would be a fun and a meaningful life journey to working together with that life partner to be an “us”!