If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
Compassion should be a part of everyday life. It has incredible benefits for individuals and a whole society. Most people think of compassion as feeling bad for a homeless person living on the sidewalk. It’s so much more than empathy or understanding- and it’s even more than doing kind acts for others.
Compassion means something different to everyone, but it’s a feeling that soothes you in a struggle. It allows you to see things as they are and not worse than they are. Stress usually causes us to see everything as a problem and catastrophise it. With compassion, you don’t have to be stuck managing dire circumstances, but you can create new great ones.
“Make no judgments where you have no compassion” (Anne McCaffrey)
If you don’t have compassion for things you don’t like, you have to fight it and push it away. And the more you drive problems out, the bigger they get. As problems consume your focus, prosperity or hope don’t. Also, because of this pattern, you limit your perspective. Stress and resistance shut down the learning centre in your brain, while compassion expands it.
When you catch yourself in a negative thought pattern, stop and surround it with kindness.
Observe a stranger on the street, and in your mind, clobber him with thoughts of love. Imagine their struggle in life, and with an invisible charm, throw compassion and empathy at them. Watch it permeate the layers of their clothing and sink into their skin. Imagine your hidden kind thoughts rip apart their stress cycle and absorb into their chest, stomach and pancreas. Make this a vast and fun visualisation experience that helps unravel feelings of kindness for a stranger.
I find it fun throwing massive love at strangers.
They never know I’m doing it. If they did, they might call the police.
Think of Kindness as a feeling, not a doing. In other words, feel kind thoughts for other people without urging any outcome or action. Nobody has to change, and you don’t have to do anything for anyone; it’s simple kindness. It’s a feeling, not an act.
Kindness swells inside me and crowds out critical thoughts. I can turn the kindness radar onto myself, especially if I’m self-critical.
As a keynote speaker, I have found kindness transformative.
It only takes seconds. Once you feel negativity or stress soften, you’ve climbed out of it. The stranger on the street was the anchor that helped you climb out of your stressful perspective.
HOW TO HELP OTHERS
High achievers usually have all the answers, and we love fixing others.
I used to dream about fixing a struggling relative, and it would leave me feeling exhausted. I'm confident my advice could help, yet he refuses to take my constructive counsel.
However, I’ve discovered I can bombard him with good wishes. Smother him with kindness. I know my thoughts are powerful and will reach him. I don't try to limit kind thoughts and put a goal or deadline on the proceedings. I believe. I’ve found this a much better way to support people who don’t take favourably to my helpfulness. Now I shower people with love, and they don’t even know it.
Something interesting unfolds. Gradually my resistance to how people choose to live their life fades. I realise by trying to fix people, I’ve been repelling them. I’ve placed an unfair scorecard on their actions, and my prudence sunk our relationship potential. It also makes them feel bad every time I frisked their life for glaring deficiencies.
My pain towards them was more significant than their actual struggle. If they needed to change, they would.