Self-Awareness 101 Episode 9: As Long As You Have Certain Expectations About How It Ought To Be, You Can't See How It Is
Willard discusses that when we have expectations and preconceived ideas of how things "ought to be", we limit the possibility for deep communication and for improving our relationships. By opening ourselves to the present moment, we create new opportunities for deeper understanding and more honest communication when we become "present" with those around us.
Today we're going to discuss a quote by Ram Dass, "As long as you have certain desires, about how it OUGHT to be, you can't SEE how it is".
One of the challenges I've had in my own journey of personal development and self-awareness is, really learning to... strip away expectations... strip away past associations, and allow myself to be present, in the moment. What specifically do I mean by that?
As an example, I can stand on stage or have business communications where I am completely aware, completely present. I am fully engaged in the conversation, listening to what's going on. I take in what the other person is saying with my attention on how I can make sure that I fully understand their perspective and give them the best feedback possible.
Yet when it comes to my family, as an example my mother specifically, over time I have become so conditioned to believing I know how she is going to communicate based on past experiences. I have "expectations" as to how she is going to react. Because of these beliefs and expectations, I really run into challenges in being present and experiencing that new opportunity for communication with her.
So why is this important? Only by being present can I truly experience the connection with another person and allow myself to understand what they are truly saying and feeling. If I come into communication, bringing past associations, bringing in expectations, I am not present for the conversation that is going on. If I am expecting them to act and react in specific ways. I'm not really listening to what's being said. I'm actually just waiting and preparing for my defense, or to make sure my point is being brought across.
Coming from a place of expectation is a really, really bad place to try and build a relationship from, of any type. A personal relationship or a business relationship.
So since most of us spend our lives in what I would call a "reactive mode", how do we get to the point, of being in the present moment, of being aware? One of my mentors, Wayne Dyer, says that the way you allow yourself to be present in the moment is to do two things: tame the ego, and release the past.
Taming the ego to me, means letting go of having to be right. Being willing to say I'm wrong. Being willing to say, “I don't know". When you set the ego aside, you give yourself the ability to "be there" to be present, to be with the person that you're communicating with. As some would say, by taming the ego, you can listen without prejudice.
Being able to release the past means that what happened yesterday, what happened a month ago, what happened a year ago, does not mean its going to happen again. Yet many of us live connected to those past experiences and "react" based on the past rather than what is happening in the present moment.
Research has shown that every experience that we have, shapes our life, it shapes our belief systems, it shapes our communication. So the experiences that we have today, will ultimately affect how we act tomorrow. This happens at anunconscious level.
This applies to everybody. Meaning, if I'm sitting down with a family member that I haven't seen for a day, or a week, or a month; they've had experiences, just as I have, that have reshaped their ideas, it might not have happened consciously, but on an unconscious level, they have had experiences that have caused changes in their perceptions. This change in perceptions will also have the potential to change their communications with me. By remaining aware of this, I allow them to present themselves the way they've changed and they've grown rather than holding them to expectations of how they will respond based on what I remember them from our last communication. By becoming aware of this I also allow myself to actually enter into communication, rather than just repeat old cycles.
So, I invite you to think about this question, when you are interacting with somebody, are you interacting in the present moment, or are you basing your communication on expectations and past experiences? Also, take a moment and think about how you can apply this in future communications.
I invite you to take a moment, right now, think about the quote we talked about today; think about how my experiences may be similar to yours. If you have a journal, make some notes that can help you become more aware of your communication in the future which will help your relationships become stronger and more fluid.
I also invite you to check back soon, because we've got more episodes on the way.
Choose the next Episode you would like to watch from the list below:
Self-Awareness 101 Series with Transcription Plus
Introduction To Self-Awareness 101: To Inspire, Educate and Empower
SA 101 Episode 1: The Importance of Developing Self-Awareness
SA 101 Episode 2: How to Truly Learn from Mistakes
SA 101 Episode 3: To Soar, I Needed To Let Go Of The Past
SA 101 Episode 4: The Meaning That We Give Things
SA 101 Episode 5: Kind Words And Good Deeds Are Eternal
SA 101 Episode 6: Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone
SA 101 Episode 7: Two Most Powerful Words You'll Ever Say
SA 101 Episode 8: Making Time For What's Truly Important
SA 101 Episode 9: Expectations and Desires About How It Ought To Be
SA 101 Episode 10: Tap Into The Sources Of The Universe
SA 101 Episode 11: The Four Agreements
SA 101 Episode 12: Courage-Being Scared But Saddling Up Anyways
SA 101 Episode 13: The Power Of Belief Systems
SA 101 Episode 14: Change Is Inevitable, Growth Is Optional
SA 101 Episode 15: Establishing Personal Boundaries; It's OK To Say No
SA 101 Episode 16: Encountering External Resistance To Change
SA 101 Episode 17: Creating A Supportive Environment
SA 101 Episode 18: Our Decisions Determine Who We Become
SA 101 Episode 19: Personal Development Tests
SA 101 Episode 20: A List Of Excuses Vs. Results
SA 101 Episode 21: The Meaning Of Honesty
SA 101 Episode 22: Living In Gratitude
SA 101 Episode 23: Repetitive Patterns
SA 101 Episode 24: Non-Verbal Cues
SA 101 Episode 25: Be Brave Enough To Accept The Help Of Others
SA 101 Episode 26: Positive Thoughts And Positive Intentions
SA 101 Episode 27: Active Listening Skills
SA 101 Episode 28: How Self-Awareness Relates To Spirituality
SA 101 Episode 29: Positive Affirmations
SA 101 Episode 30: Basic Meditation Exercises
SA 101 Episode 31: Personal Development At Work
SA 101 Episode 32: Toxic Shame
SA 101 Episode 33: Eliminating Clutter
SA 101 Episode 34: How To Forgive Others
SA 101 Episode 35: Self-Forgiveness
SA 101 Episode 36: Deepening Self-Awareness
SA 101 Episode 37: What Is Fear?
SA 101 Episode 38: How To Overcome Fear
SA 101 Episode 39: Dealing With Your Anger
SA 101 Episode 40: How To Find Your Passion
SA 101 Episode 41: Increasing Your Self-Awareness
SA 101 Episode 42: How To Feel Deserving
SA 101 Episode 43: How To Be A Humble Observer
SA 101 Episode 44: Progress Not Perfection
SA 101 Episode 45: Expectations And Perfectionism
SA 101 Episode 46: Dealing With Anger
SA 101 Episode 47: Taking Responsibility For Yourself
SA 101 Episode 48: Achieving Higher Consciousness
SA 101 Episode 49: Trust Life
SA 101 Episode 50: Being Skeptical
SA 101 Episode 51: Benefits Of Closure
SA 101 Episode 52: The Final Episode