Welcome to 2020.
They say that 20/20 is perfect vision, and that when we look back we sometimes see that we could have done something a little better. That is when we say, “hindsight is 20/20.”
Let’s look at how to have 20/20 vision for this next year, and of course the next decade.
A lot of people use this time of year to make New Year’s resolutions.
You know, go to the gym, start a diet, travel more, etc. Although these are all great goals, after a few months most of them fail. I guess that’s why I don’t make them. Instead, I try to look ahead with as clear a vision as possible about what I can do better, and how I can become a more authentic ‘me.’
Back in the 90s, I created the Law of Cooperative Action at Brock University, that basically states that we are all interconnected and interdependent. If we look at the universe, everything seems to fit and work together, from the plants to the animals to the weather. Even when there is an issue in our lives or in the universe, it works itself out eventually, and something new or different comes into existence.
Our challenge as humans in this interconnectedness is how do we fit in, and how do we become authentically ‘us’ within that interconnectedness, without harming it or allowing it to harm ‘us.’ In other words, how do I become authentically me? What is my vision for myself and how do I fit into this organized chaos? I accomplish this by using six basic tenets or laws.
First, I celebrate and value the individual as the foundation of all relationships. This means it is not my job to judge, criticize or try to control who you are or what you want to be. I simply accept who you are. Of course that does not mean I agree or condone whatever that is, I simply accept it. That allows me to be me as well.
Second, because it’s OK to be me and it’s OK to be you, then I do my best never to knowingly harm you. So as I strive for a clear vision of who I am and how I fit in, I do it respectively and cooperatively.
Third, I negotiate all of my boundaries by never telling the other person what they are doing wrong, but simply how their actions are affecting me. I am in control of myself without being controlling of you. So there is a clear vision of what I need, while respecting and understanding what you need. If we are in concert, we move forward, if we are not, we figure out what that means.
Fourth, I always look for a balance and equilibrium to create cooperative action without losing my sense of self. This one is a little more complicated as I must have a clear vision of what makes me toxic and what I need to do to avoid being in a situation that can harm myself or others.
Fifth, all relationships are based on mutual trust and respect. If that does not exist, then toxicity builds up and the relationship falls apart.
Finally, if the relationship is in fact toxic, I will let it go and walk away. This takes courage, and it is the last resort. Initially, I will do my best to walk away mentally so I don’t have to walk away physically. Example: the way some people chew gum is annoying, but that is not their problem, it’s mine. It’s not my job to get them to chew gum the way I believe is correct. So who really has the problem?
Look at it this way. We are all in a fast-flowing stream, the river of life, and because of the interconnectedness, we all affect this stream in one way or another. Our problem as humans is we are continually trying to control the stream. Stop worrying about what your partner is wearing to an event. Stop getting upset with traffic. Stop trying to tell that person how to chew gum. When you try to tell others what to do, you are trying to control the stream.
Instead, control how you navigate the stream, without harming the stream, and more importantly, without allowing the stream to harm you.
My wish for you is that your 2020 includes peace, kindness, joy, comfort and love.
Ted Mouradian is the president of the 2% Factor Inc. and creator of the Law of Cooperative Action. He is an author and professional speaker and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org