Easter Eggs and Chocolate Bunnies

Keeping minds open

Simply Spring

What better way to welcome in the spring than with beautifully hand-painted eggs delivered by bunnies? Better still, edible chocolate bunnies.

There’s something simple and marvellous about Spring. It’s the time when Nature awakens and invites us to do the same.

Nature’s Spring Clean

Now is the time to sweep away the cobwebs which have been collecting frost and dust over the winter and turn over a new leaf.

Spring offers us the opportunity for personal renewal, a chance for us to retrospect and blossom.

To paraphrase Ezra Pound, one of the greatest imagist poets of the twentieth century, the key to enjoying life is “to make things new”. We have to learn to lookout for the magical in the mundane to give meaning to the way we live every day.

Magic Moments

It is precisely when we are actively in search of unravelling colourful mysteries that we widen our points-of-view and enlarge our understanding of the world around us. Most important of all, it can lead to a clearer understanding of ourselves.

Before we can spot the magic, many of us need to first de-clutter a bad habit.

No Fluff, Just Stuff

In my experience, effective leaders and coaches are good judges of people and situations. The problem arises when this muscle of judgment becomes our default modus operandi. From being able to quickly assess people and situations, we become increasingly judgmental of others and of ourselves.

Against Better Judgement

What’s more, the more “expert” we perceive ourselves to be, the more assumptions we make because we judge often and we judge early.

According to executive coach, Marshall Goldsmith, being over-judgmental is one of the top 20 flaws of highly successful people. I’m inclined to agree.

My Personal Fool’s Experiment

For a leader and coach to be effective, we have to learn to keep an open mind. We need to learn to postpone judgment. I’m currently experimenting with how to be less judgmental of others by being less judgmental of myself.

Over the years, I’ve come to realise that there is a direct correlation between my being judgmental of others and being judgmental of myself. Although I’m getting better at postponing judgment of people and situations, a bigger challenge remains.

Handle Yourself with Care

So what does “being less judgmental of myself” involve? In my case, instead of busily being self-critical all the time, it’s about being more gentle with myself.

Here’s the algorithm I use for postponing judgment of others and it works on postponing judgment of myself:

  • Recognition: Recognise when I’m being judgmental
  • Acknowledgement: Acknowledge that I’m being judgmental so that I can move onto the next step
  • Encouragement: Encourage myself to restore an open mind
  • Improvement: Improve myself based on that cycle of learning
  • Practice: Practice, practice, practice.

How do you keep an open mind for long enough to see things new?

4 Responses to “Easter Eggs and Chocolate Bunnies”

  1. Noel Gray writes:

    Hi Portia, great post – I know that is a judgement, I especially like the idea of judging oneself less. Noel

  2. Ozlem writes:

    Hi Portia,
    Great post! Being over judgmental could be difficult to recognise. I sometimes rely on people that I know to tell me that I am being over judgmental about myself.

  3. J. B. Rainsberger writes:

    I have practised communicating in “E-Prime”, which means English without “to be”. Not using “to be” discourages me from labeling, which as a result discourages me from judging. It also forces me to voice my opinion rather than stating things generally, which encourages me to distinguish between opinions and claims of fact. All together, this encourages me to judge less and invites others to trust me more — at least, I think it does.

  4. portiatung writes:

    Hi Noel, Ozlem, and J.B., thanks for your comment! As for E-Prime, WOW.

    J.B. – how do you balance your use of E-Prime with retaining a sense of self and personal opinions?

    For more about E-Prime: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-Prime.

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