Mindfulness Video Part 7

Part Seven: The How Skills -- Effectively


The How Skills:  Effectively
We've gone through two of the 'hows'.  Non-judgmentally.  One mindfully.  And we have one more.  Effectively. 

Acting effectively means doing what works. You have to ask yourself, 'Works for what?' So you have to know your goals. You actually have to think through what is it that you really want? It's going to be hard to figure out whether you're doing what works if you don't even know what you want. So you have to do that. 

The next thing that you have to do though, is figure out what do I have to do?  In other words, you have to think through what's needed, what's necessary to act effectively.  That means that you have to took at what's actually going on.  Not only do you know what you want, but you have to figure out what's really needed.  What's needed in this situation?

So you have to pay attention to the situation and respond to what's really going on.  You have to use your observing and describing skills.

So what gets in the way of being effective? Sometimes we just decide that's its more important to be right than to get what we want.
Have you ever noticed sometimes how people driving in the outside lane on the highway come up and get right behind other people who are driving slow? Either they're driving exactly the speed limit or even slower sometimes. Then you notice, what does the car do?  They start tailgating the driver. Have you ever had that happen to you?  Now, ask yourself, if someone is tailgating you, what do you think they want? They want to go faster, right?  Have you ever noticed that sometimes that happens and that person could just go right over to the right-hand lane. They could just move right over and pass you by? They could just pass the slow driver by, but they don't.  What do they do?  They tailgate. 

Is that effective? It is sooner or later. Most of the time people will get over and the person gets to go on.  But, I'm sure you've seen it cause I have, there are times when that actually doesn't work. Sooner or later they have to go and pass them.  That's an example of wanting to be right instead of wanting to be effective.

Alright. What's the next thing that gets in your way. Believing it's not fair that you should have to put all this effort into being effective. Generally what gets in your way here is when you're very clear what you want and you think that you should not have to do anything to get it.


I'll give you an example.  How about your birthday.  You may be a person like a lot of other people who want to have your birthday remembered. But, you don't think it's fair that you should have to go around telling other people that your birthday is coming, leaving hints. So what happens?  People don't remember your birthday. Then you get hurt. Your day goes downhill. Then you get hurt. Now, what's effective? How could you be effective?  Remind them that your birthday is coming. 

Sometimes what gets in the way is you're just not thinking about what's important. You're not focusing in on your most important goals. 

Think about it.  When your goals are just right in your face, you can't miss them. Usually, you're willing to be effective.

I'll give you an example.  Imagine that you're in a bank.  While you're in there, you're just talking to the teller. A bank robber comes in. And the bank robber yells 'Down on the floor!' What do you think you would do?  Would you say, 'Hey, against the rules. Not doing it.  You're not even supposed to be in here.  I'm not doing that.  Mmmm, I don't think so.' What do you think you'd do?  You'd probably fall flat on your face. Why? It'd be hard to miss that your life is in danger.  It's pretty obvious that your life is in danger.  That's why you'd do it. Not only that but it's a pretty important goal. 
So when it's really important and it's really obvious, most of us are willing to play by the rules. We're willing to be effective.

Now lots of times in life the consequences of being right instead of effective aren't so extreme. We may have something to lose but we don't have a lot to lose.  The problem is, is if you're always focused on being right, what happens to you over the long haul?  If you look over the years of your life, what happens?  Being right costs a lot.  You lose a little bit now, a little bit tomorrow, a little bit the next day. And all of a sudden you may have lost a lot of things really important to you. 

So, pay attention. Is this important to you. Are you a person who would rather be right than get what you want? If that's true, think about it. You may want to practice effectiveness. 

Why practice doing things effectively? There's only one answer. It's a really simple one.  It works.

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