It’s easy to give advice to others about how they should live their lives. It’s harder to take your own advice.
Take a Break
This happened to me the other day. I had written a blog about how when you are feeling frustrated and stuck on a project, you should take a break, sleep on it, and give your unconscious some time to work it out. A couple of weeks later, I was in that exact same situation. I was getting frustrated about a work project and feeling stuck… And instead of taking my own advice, I just kept at it, not making any progress. I felt like I was banging my head against the wall.
The Judging Habit
We all have a tendency to judge other people for what they are doing. It’s natural and part of what it means to be human. But it’s easy to point out the speck in our brother or sister’s eye. It’s much more difficult to do the hard work of taking the log out of our own eye.
Life is Messy
Life is complicated and messy. We each have a unique set of life experiences and struggles we are working with. Our family, friends, and neighbors do as well.
I think there are two lessons we can take from this observation that it is easier to judge and criticize others than take our own advice.
- Have empathy for others. Life is difficult. Most of us are struggling and doing our best. It’s important to have compassion and empathy for others. When we notice ourselves judging or criticizing someone, let this be a cue to move to compassion. What they are going through probably isn’t as simple or easy as we think. How might we love our neighbor today?
- Work on ourselves. We have little or no control over the behaviors of other people. What we can change is ourselves. When we find ourselves judging or criticizing someone, try to shift the focus to ourselves. What could we do better? Where in our life are we still not doing our best? Can we take the “medicine” we prescribe to others?
Do you find yourself judging or criticizing someone regularly? How might you turn your judgment around and find something you can work on in your own life?