Here are 4 skills that, if mastered, will dramatically improve your success and quality of life. .
Skill #1: Speak truthfully with positive intention - Always be honest with a win/win intention for all parties involved. Honesty alone is not enough. We can be honest while having an intention to blame or hurt someone. We can also be dishonest with a positive intent. In my experience, both are short sighted. It might seem to work on the short term, but on the long run we eventually pay the price for it. We need to communicate honestly and constructively. It is a skill, a hard and important skill.
Skill #2: Don’t make it personal - The truth is, nothing, yes nothing is personal. Our thinking makes it so. The problem is, when we take things personally, we are reinforcing a confirmation bias which focuses on finding clues for our assumption. We then spend so much energy, anger, stress...on subjects that are beside the point. When we make it about us, we are opening a big can of worms.
Instead, we need to focus on what we truly want to achieve. If you are not getting the results you want then that does not mean you “suck”, it simply means you need to adapt your behavior.
Skill #3: Verify your assumptions - assumptions might be accurate some of the time but often times they're not. Either way, if they have not been verified they are corrosive. Here's a good way to verify an assumption: “I am assuming that …. could you please confirm or adjust my assumption?”, "I am imagining that ..., is it accurate?".
Skill #4: Always do your best - Your best will fluctuate from day to day even from hour to hour. That is fine. When you do your best, no matter what the end result is, you will be at peace. We thrive on progress and growth. Getting positive results is awesome and important but it’s not what truly satisfies us. Often times the quest is the real reward. Being hard on ourselves every single second completely ruins the fun. It is much better to look at a month or even better a year's worth of work.
If you wake up in a really shitty mood - your best might be to do just one simple act of kindness that day. That would be enough. Do your best and let God do the rest.
I believe that a great embodiment of thoroughly applying those skills is Ray Dalio. Arguably the most successful Hedge Fund Manager in history. Watch his reaction when one of his team members tells him "He deserves a D- for his performance at the meeting today".
This post is inspired by the book - "The 4 agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz, which I highly recommend.