If only you were more like me

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If only you were more like me

Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of Christian spirituality and sport.

Evaluate

Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves.”-Paul, the Apostle.

Appreciate

Let’s be honest. Many of us believe that if people were more like us, this world would be a better place. Yes, it sounds ugly and a bit narcissistic, once we are in relationship with others we can be tempted to think that way. The mindset is simple and clear: “If only you were more like me, we would have no problems.”

This philosophy was recently brought home to me and my fellow staff members at the university where I work, when we attended an excellent three-day retreat. I was grateful to our dean, not only for the timing of the retreat, but also for not overpacking the schedule with activities. Sufficient time was granted for rest and personal space, while the group sessions were engaging, interactive and honest.

The experienced facilitator reminded us that people are different. It sounds obvious but we can so easily forget how dynamic humanity is. There is beauty in diversity. We would learn so much about and from each other if only we could become better listeners. Even before the retreat was over, my takeaway was clear. I need to embrace our differences, and I must do so without making premature assumptions about people without first getting to know them.

The advice given in our team building exercise reminded me of the Apostle Paul’s first century admonition to his audience in Rome. He advocated for honest self-evaluation. This is excellent counsel and great practical wisdom. It’s about a self-awareness that is rooted in humility and openness to my own blind spots and weaknesses. The idea is not to beat up oneself but to guard against an inflated ego. When we look inward in a healthy way and start changing ourselves before we seek to change others, great teams can be built. Personal transformation fosters group integration.

Initiate

Initiate a conversation with someone completely different from you. Listen and learn.  

If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.

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