1/20/2008

Put criticism aside and focus on the positive.

If you work in a corporation or any other type of organization, if you are a student at an institution or a member of an association, or even if you are a member of a family or have a group of friends, I’m pretty sure you have seen this happen at least once if not frequently:
Someone at work is promoted, somebody gets a scholarship, and someone else gets a raise or achieves something good for them, and its enough for others to start questioning why is that person doing so well.
Why is it that people can not be satisfied and celebrate that the other person is doing great? Why do we need to look for faults in that person so we can argue why they should not have received the promotion? Do you really think that criticizing that person and digging deep into them to find their greatest defects will produce a positive result for the criticizer? Do you suppose the group will somehow benefit by listing the reasons why they think that person should not have gotten the promotion, the scholarship or raise?

That way of thinking is just plain wrong, it shows envy and envy is a very poor sentiment and a thought of scarcity and it definitely goes against us in the end.

Think about it, I’m sure that most of us at some time or another, and I count myself in, must have made this very mistake. But really, what have we achieved by it, if not just giving ourselves a bitter moment and even worse, hurting someone who really happened to deserve that opportunity?

And we all really deserve every single opportunity life gives us; it’s up to us to decide whether or not to take it. But never should it be in somebody’s hands to judge if the other person deserves it or not.

So here is my proposal: Next time we see that someone around us is doing great, it can be colleague who got a promotion, a friend who just bought a new home, a brother who won a scholarship or a friend who just got married; instead of looking for the weak spot to criticize them, why not focus on the positive traits this people have, which helped them get what they got and praise those traits?

“It takes one to know one” they say, and I think that is absolutely right.
When we see all those positive traits in others it’s only because we are looking at a reflection of what is also inside us. If we recognize someone because she is always happy and smiling it is because we know that we also have the capability of sharing a smile with others. When we find a person who has the courage and strength to follow his dreams and work hard for them, it is because we know that deep inside us there is such a source of passion and strength too to follow ours.
So whenever we celebrate the good in others, not only are we praising them and encouraging them to keep it up, but we are also bringing out the good in ourselves.

Let’s not then bury all those positive traits in us under a deep cover of envy and scarcity, but rather next time you want to criticize or judge someone for having a great moment, stop and think about 5 positive traits that person must have had in order to get that opportunity. I’m sure that if you take a hard loving look, you will see each of those traits in you, thus opening yourself to the opportunities life has in stock for you too.

An important note.

The comments, opinions and recommendations posted in this personal blog are my personal thoughts, and doesn't necesarily reflect those of my employer.