Why do we judge and why are we being judged by others?

September 16th, 2015

We kind of jump to judging situations. And people. And I believe it’s important to understand how this is fundamentally wrong. Mind you, it’s wrong not because Andrei says it is, nor because someone holding the keys to an absolute truth is making a case for it, but because we start from the premise that we wish to be happy. And judging people takes us very far from that state of happiness, no matter how each of us defines it.

However, if there are people among you who do not wish to be happy, then feel free to ignore the following.

1. Most of the time, judging others begins with a series of assumptions, mainly that the one we are judging is exactly like us. Assuming triggers mistakes. Every single time!

I dare you to think of any action you undertook in the last three days and briefly analyze it. You will see that it can be reduced to an assumption. You assumed something incorrectly, you assumed someone understood something, thought of something, or that they cared, you assumed you were more prepared than you actually were. The alternative to assuming is being prepared to only analyze the facts. And constantly questioning if not somehow, for the thousandth time, there is an assumption in our reasoning that we should challenge.

2. At times, judging others springs from a need to label things. To give us the illusion that we are in control. We divide things between good or bad, right or wrong. But when we consistently make the effort not to judge, we come to understand that things are never good or bad, but that we chose to see them in that one way.

This perspective changes everything. We stop assuming that we know, that we hold an absolute truth, and instead are open to accepting the fact that we, humans, have the right to our own view of the world. We learn to agree to disagree on certain things and to accept others the way they are, which is unique and, therefore, different from us.

3. However, most of the times, when we judge it is not about assuming things, nor about the desire (the need, maybe?) to label them, but about an emotional reaction to the message received from another person. We become emotional, sometimes defensive, because the conversation we were just having somehow touched a soft spot. What we see in the person in front of us is a part of us that we refuse to accept.

So, unconsciously, we put a barrier between us and the other, trying to show that we are not the same. All the while forgetting that if the subject of the matter were indifferent to us, then we wouldn’t have a reason to become emotional. But every time this happens, it means that we care about it more than we think.

To sum it up, judging not only determines suffering in others, but also tells us something about how okay we are with ourselves, with the way we are. Every time we realize that we are judging other people we should ask ourselves if there isn’t something about us that we would want to change. And act accordingly.

better human beings?

July 1st, 2014

Entrepreneurship is about resilience more than about anything else. The question is never if at some point it’s going to be hard. The question is how hard and, above all, to quote a fictional character, how much you can get hit and keep moving forward.

I have been thinking about this lately, not because things have gotten worse, but because talking to a friend made me wonder if entrepreneurship can really make you a better human being.

I know that it can definitely make you a better profesional. It’s a complete experience. When you work in sales, for example, you have to learn to sell and in order to do this, you have to develop skills like listening, persuasion, negotiation and others, but you can do without being the most organized person on Earth. If you work in project management, you need powerful organizing skills and a sense of urgency. Listening can be a big plus, but it’s not mandatory. And so on…

Well, in entrepreneurship sooner or later you get the full package. No two days are the same and not a week goes by without having to solve a problem that nobody around you knows how to solve. Because, guess what, every-f*cking-unsolvable problem escalates to the guy with the biggest responsability. It goes up to the highest floor where someone has to solve the unsolvable and cut the red wire before it all blows through the roof.

So he finds a way to solve it. Not because he has the know-how, not because he is smarter or faster, but because no amount of self-induced bullshit can make the problem go away. It will stay there until it gets done.

This every-day-by-day-by-day-solve-it-or-it-blows type of experiences sure make you a more powerful professional, every day more prepared for anything that gets thrown at you.

But does it make you a better human being? How could it?

spending time with ourselves

April 4th, 2014

I think I really learned this in 2010. That late! I learned to stop from time to time, take the foot off the gas, slow down and look around. And then, look inside myself.

They never teach us this, you know? Standing still, spending time with ourselves. They only teach us to run, every day faster than the day before. They teach us that if, while running, we’re among the fastest, then it’s okay! If not, then run faster, what are you waiting for!?

They teach us to run as if we knew where we’re heading. And we don’t, of course we don’t, we have no clue whatsoever.

We set our targets, have a few ideas and a short list we hope we will be able to check out, sometime in this life. But the reality is that we have no idea how we’re going to get there.

In coaching, by working with a lot of people, I learned that most of the time, people only think that they are running towards something. They are not really doing it. In fact, most of the time they are running of themselves, scared shit.

Besides the fact that we look around us, see everybody running and we imagine (stupidly) that this must be what life is all about, most of the time we’re afraid to stop. Because if we stopped, we might be able to hear our thoughts, we might feel the heart beating inside of us, and we might see ourselves, like in a mirror, as naked as we really are. And we’re afraid of the distance between what we are and what we believe that we should be.

The only problem is that, in order to become who we want to be, we sort of need to know where we are right now. And that we can’t find out by running. We need to sit in order to do it. And spend time with ourselves.