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January 19, 2013 / Dale Melchin

Relating to Ourselves and to Others

So many times in our walk through life, while we might have success in managing relationships with others, we often times have failure in how we relate to ourselves.  This is evidenced in two fictional examples.  Granted, these are fictional examples, but they are still valid, because the writers are excellent craftsmen of characters.

I think first of Willy Loman in the Death of a Salesman.  He was the man who had achieved the American dream.  He had a home, a nice wife, and two sons.  In the back story would’ve had to successfully managed those relationships.  Also in the back story he would’ve had to successfully manage the relationships he cultivated in his tenure as a sales man.  Although we see through the story that the walls were starting to closing on him.  The relationship that he did not successful lead or manage as evidenced by his suicide was his relationship with himself.  He had allowed his heart to be corrupted to the point where he was cheating on his wife and he hadn’t cultivated the character of his sons to where they both “amount to nothing.”  The point is though, he failed to cultivate his own spirituality and his own person, and that is why he ultimately committed suicide, not because of the life insurance money, but because he succumbed to despair.

The next person I think of is Anakin Skywalker.  Regardless of his turn to the dark side of the Force, he is the greatest of the Jedi.  He was able to cultivate his external powers in such away that even after his fall the only person who could beat him would either be Luke, or Emperor Palpatine.  Had he followed Yoda’s advice in episode three and managed himself by cultivating detachment, he wouldn’t have been seduced by Palpatine.  The things that tripped him up was his supreme attachment to his mom and to his wife.  I’m not advocating total detachment from family or loved ones, but Anakin’s story is one that demonstrates the danger of making relationships into idols.  He obviously managed his external relationships well enough that the Jedi only got a small whiff of his problems, but never got to the point where they intervened.  I mean he became a Jedi General!

The point is that we should relate to ourselves in a way that is kind and rigorous.  We need to lead and manage ourselves in such a way that we do not allow excuses to take over.  It is imperative that we manage ourselves with militaristic rigor, coupled by kindness so that way we can give ourselves the proper responsibility and accountability, without beating ourselves up.

The best way to do this is to do as best as we can to systematize the 7 spokes of the wheel of life so we can create processes that bring us the results that we want.   To get a handle on the results that we want, we need to think about our lives in terms of how we are remembered.  But we also need to think across the 7 areas in terms of the out comes we want in a month, a quarter, a year, five years, ten years and so on.  Only then will we get the results we want.

This method will work regardless of our upbringing and conditioning and will help us to ultimately drive out the negative aspects of our conditioning, leverage the good aspects of it, and condition ourselves in such a way that  facilitates our goals.

P.S.  You probably want me to tell you how we should relate to others.  Be generous with all, intimate with few, and share your authentic self with only one.

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