Orlando Scandrick Jersey It's not personal! Part 2 | www.LdsCoaching.com
  It's not personal! Part 2
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It's not personal! Part 2

Last week's article was based on the best-selling book, "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz. I've been reading this book again after several years of not putting what I've read into practice. It seems a lot easier to read inspiring books than to put what we read into daily practice.

For those unfamiliar with this book, the agreements are as follows:

1. Be impeccable with your word
2. Don't take anything personally
3. Don't make assumptions
4. Always do your best

Clearly, all of these principles can benefit us if we choose to embrace them as part of our daily lives. I have chosen to concentrate on the second agreement, as it seems to have the potential for much unnecessary heartache. How much better would our lives be if we realized this simple principle and didn't take anything personally! Anything people say or do is actually a reflection of themselves, not us. Last week, the focus was on the negative "messages" that are often sent our way and how to be free of their influence. That one seems straightforward enough and makes perfect sense.

Today I'd like to discuss something that at first may seem benign but nevertheless can also have negative consequences. The author suggests that we shouldn't take anything personally, even if it's a compliment. My first reaction to reading this was, "What's the harm?" What's wrong with people praising us, complimenting us and giving us positive feedback? On the surface, it seems like that's a great part of life. Being recognized for our accomplishments is a good thing, isn't it?

Upon further inquiry, I've begun to see the hidden traps of taking all these compliments personally. Let's look at a simple example: We live in a society that seems preoccupied -- if not obsessed -- with celebrities and their lives. These are people who seem to have fortune, fame and everything else that the world seems to equate with success. Far too often we vicariously live our middle-class lives through their exotic escapades.

However, it seems that as quickly as these celebrities are built up, they invariably fall down (sometimes in humiliating disgrace), and they do so quite publicly. It is interesting to hear from so many people after their downfall, sitting on the sidelines uttering the following phrase: "How come nobody told them that their behavior was out of control and totally inappropriate?"

Therein lies the problem: they're young, beautiful, talented and everyone around them praises them a million times a day! They are treated almost like demi-gods: free tickets, free meals, the best seats at concerts, free designer clothing ... and sadly, even free drugs. The compliments are coming in from every side, and they begin to believe that they truly are the greatest! The inflated ego coupled with pride makes them lose touch with reality!

Drinking, driving and crashing their new expensive car? "So what? Don't they know who I am?" Of course, not all celebrities fall into this category. There are others who seem to handle their fortune and fame gracefully. In spite of all the accolades coming their way, they seem to possess a certain down-to-earth attitude, even one of humility.

To bring the example back to ourselves: I believe it is entirely possible to accept compliments with a grateful heart, but not let them go to our heads. Having a spiritual understanding of who we are can make it easier to maintain our "even keel" approach to life. When our lives (and not just our homes,) are built upon the rock, then we can be free of the world's influences and opinions. I love hearing people give all the credit for their success to God and continue humbly to magnify their God-given talents!

Let us therefore be unaffected by the "words of men" whether they are positive or negative. We don't need to be defined by what others say about us. Let us be grateful for our talents, humble in our successes and loving in our encounters.