So far we talked about three important key steps to help you making changes in your life and getting unstuck from old patterns of behavior.
Many years ago, one of the key observations that helped me making changes in my life and getting unstuck from my old patterns of behavior, was that many times my focus was answering this important question:
“What do other people want?”
And after many years of research and experimentation, I came up with something that caused a lot of turmoil in my own belief system that I had at the time.
“Only an idiot would care what other people WANT.”
And to clarify the statement, I am going to take a deep breath, and say that:
“Smart people only care about what other people RESPOND TO!”
You know, I am not kidding about this. I really mean it, and to understand why, you have to make distinction between 3 different perspectives of putting the question:
First, there is what people SAY they want.
Second, there is what people THINK they want.
Then there is what people ACTUALLY RESPOND TO!
And the revelation here is that only the last one counts.
Do you see the shift in perspective from the first two views to the last one?
Do you see the reason most people tend to focus on answering the question of “what people want” from the first two perspectives?
For me, the most important reason, was that I thought that caring about what people want, and thinking what they want, was something that made me a nice person to them.
And in fact, I realized that the real outcome of this was that it only made me boring, self-pitying and a whiner who is too out of touch with reality to see that what I was doing in interacting with other people, just didn’t work.
And rather than changing, I was blaming the others.
So let me draw an important distinction here:
The big shift came when, rather than being “nice” I was being “pleasant”. And this shift is representative from a male perspective.
Being “nice”, is knowing how to be agreeable and not knowing how to challenge others. And speaking for myself, the nice guy filters everything he says through the belief that other people are like fragile little flowers who need to be handled with so much care or they will get broken. AUUCH!!!!
You know why the communication with “nice” people cannot be trusted. To put it simpler, they will not dare to say anything that might offend you.
In the other hand, being pleasant is something quite different: being pleasant is power, held in proper restraint and exercised with precision and elegance. A pleasant man will speak his mind and set the lead. He also knows how to listen and show the proper degree of interest and respect.
He may put himself first, but he also genuinely cares about people around him. They are of great importance to him as long as they treat him right and work within the rules that he has made very clear.
Most important: his world is his own. He never, NEVER makes other peoples worlds his world. He never orbits. He does allow others to come into his world and occasionally even be at the center WITH him.
When you get these distinctions you will move a lot more powerfully in your life.