So how is your Valentine’s Day going?
No matter what, it really is just another day – if you can ignore all the commercial hype and media pressure. And I know – here’s yet another post for Valentine’s Day!
However, today I would like to invite you to see this day, and every day henceforth as an opportunity to improve all your relationships, not just with a significant other.
A year ago in February 2011, I wrote a post about relationships for the whole month – and I have listed all 28 articles at the bottom of this post for you to go through in your own time.
Before that, I am sharing with you my own favourite relationship posts from my blog.
I invite you to go through all ten posts in your own time – doing so will transform your relationships.
You will get to see what’s really possible for you in all your dealings with people.
Love is not the highly commercialised circus we see around Valentines Day. It is much deeper and much more profound than sending someone a dozen roses at hugely inflated prices. It is much more than candle lit dinners and fancy chocolates.
We all yearn for that deep connection with others, those moments of bliss, joy, completeness. We crave to have many more of those delicious moments we may have had with a romantic partner. And yet, such moments seem so rare and forlorn.
Check out Love is All That Matters
The point is this – love is much greater than what we feel romantically. It is what makes us sing, dance and makes us human.
If there was enough love in the world, we would simply not tolerate a single human being starving.
“There is enough for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed” – Gandhi
Have you ever noticed how some people just seem to have so much drama in their lives?
Whereas some people breeze through life, others seem to live from one crisis to another. Some people just seem to crave drama, create drama and look for drama.
Are you one of them!?
Then it’s time to stop from today onwards!
Conversely, some people just seem full of beans and energy all the time! And there’s nothing wrong with that.
If you are one of them then there’s only one thing for you to do:-
Spread your optimism & zest for life and infect the whole world
It is good to be positive, high-spirited and with a zest for living life to the full.
At the same time, remain grounded and base your optimism with an underlying reality check – and most importantly continue to be effervescent :-).
Remember – your positivity and bubbly nature should not be annoying but rather it should always be endearingly infectious. That way at least you will still have some friends – and they too will eventually be just as positive and full of life as you.
Then some people are just so “nice”. But what does nice really mean? And how does it support them in their life to be seen as nice?
I used to get very excited whenever someone would tell me: “you’re a really nice guy”. I thought it was a fantastic compliment to receive.
Then I started noticing in my own life and the life of other “really nice” people that this label often came with less than favourable consequences.
I’m not against helping others or being kind. I do think however that many people take this too far and end up sacrificing their own needs in order to please others, thinking that this will solve everything in their lives. And unfortunately, that’s very far from the truth.
Put your needs forward more.
This can imply spending more time doing what you enjoy, asking more for what you want, saying no to others, being more spontaneous, expressing unpopular opinions or ending toxic relationships.
As you move from people pleasing to an assertive approach to life, people will see you differently and treat you differently. And you can still continue to be “nice” :-).
Do you say “thank you” like you mean it or do you just say it casually and almost apologetically?
The key is very simple – you really have to mean it when you say thank you!
People really get it when you genuinely mean something and also when you are just going through the motions.
Put yourself on the receiving end of being thanked – I bet you remember well the few times when someone has truly shown their appreciation.
The most beautiful thing about truly thanking someone is that it creates a deeper and instant bond between people.
What sort of world will our children have in 20 to 30 years from now? What’s our legacy going to be for them?
Imagine how all of our relationships would change instantly, if we refrained from criticism, hostility, ridicule and shame.
So from today, get committed to live with tolerance, encouragement, praise, fairness, security and approval.
Most importantly, I feel we should live with acceptance and friendship.
By treating every other human being with acceptance and friendship, all the other good things about people relationships will follow too.
Are you quick to judge others on how they look, how they are dressed or how they speak?
Do you value others or rate them as being worthy or significant?
The point is this – just how often do you truly stop and fully appreciate other people?
So here is my invitation to you all – from today onwards, treat every person you meet as the greatest and most interesting human being on the planet.
And you know what, give them your presence and your time, and they will grow into your highest vision for them.
You can be the master and with your touch, you can raise the people in your life to the highest levels possible.
Positive and dramatic change can happen in the world, if more of us begin to hold a higher vision for ourselves and others.
Let’s begin today.
One great thing about living in a multicultural city like London is that you get to see and meet people from all parts of the world.
And what better way to see such people than on a London bus?
Go on a bus journey through your own city or town.
You will see that people are just people, no matter where you are in the world.
Check out Become Human, Take a Bus Journey
Next time you are on a bus or even a train, look around at your fellow passengers. Look beyond the superficial wrappings and their personal armour. Look for the real human being within and their core humanity.
You get my point – people are people – regardless of their ethnicity, religious beliefs, country of birth. They have the same hopes and dreams – and they face the same challenges as you and me.
“Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power but in character and goodness. People are just people and all people have faults and shortcomings, but all of us are born with basic goodness.” – Anne Frank
Yes, they are just like you and me.
The other common thing of course is that everyone loves their children, even Muslims.
Do people always seem to take advantage of you? Do you feel that you are being taken for granted?
And it is a cliché, but have you ever been taken for a ride?!
We can all sometimes feel overlooked, ignored or made to feel that we didn’t count.
Know that your needs count and you are important.
The phrase that comes to mind here is that perhaps you are bending over backwards to help someone.
Do cultivate peaceful relationships with equal give and take; and do tolerate those around you as long as they don’t infringe on your space – and you will never again feel that you are bending over backwards for others.
It is always good to be nice to others but start with being nice to yourself first.
To help others and make it happen, first help yourself by strengthening your own self-respect.
Are YOU an approval seeking machine?
Do you go through life for ever seeking love, appreciation and approval from others?
Well, if so then welcome to the human race. We all seem to be genetically programmed to seek from others what we feel we don’t have within ourselves.
Let’s start with the importance of not seeking approval from others all the time.
“Spare yourself from seeking love, approval, or appreciation—from anyone. And watch what happens in reality, just for fun.” Byron Katie
So much of our life energy is spent on getting approval from others. Most of us are simply approval seeking machines!
Imagine what your relationships would be like if you didn’t constantly seek love, approval or appreciation from anyone!
Check out Stop Being An Approval Seeking Machine
If you pause and reflect on this, you will realise that almost everything you do is to seek love and acceptance from others. But the moment you cease to do so, you are free.
You suddenly get a boost of energy and you are no longer held back by the fear of what others think of you.
At the same time, it’s okay to appreciate others for what they are and what they do.
Just don’t base your entire life on what others think of you.
For today, just try this. Say or do what you want because you want to do so and not because you want something from someone.
The Way Forward
On this Valentine’s Day, the way forward is easy – share all the love you have with all the people in your life.
Sounds simple doesn’t it. And maybe it is.
You and I just have to make it happen now :-).
“The love you fail to share is the only pain you live with right now in your life” – Shore Slocum
Postscript – Here are the complete 28 articles from my relationship series from Feb 2011.
Please do check them all out 🙂
(And bookmark them and share them as you wish)
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Every Retweet and Facebook share helps me grow my blog. I look forward to seeing you here again soon. Thank you for reading! – Arvind
Images courtesy of yoga – photowork and Kjunstorm