My Favorite Tool

This is my first post of the type, a little more personal, but it felt like a good way to reflect upon how far I have come. Not quite a journal and not really a guide, and probably better as a toot/tweet, but here it is.

The last handful of years have had a lot of growth for me. In my job I have felt like I have done a lot of good, and in my personal life I felt like I grew a great comfort with boundaries and comfort. That is not to say that things do not get topsy-turvy, but I feel a lot better equipped to frame things in a healthy way. I grew up with a lot of broken people and so what may seem practical to others was foreign to me, but I never really learned how to manage all the information other people spoke my way. I took a lot of what was said to me at face value and that led to a lot of problems.

However, a handful of years ago, I made a new friend and they said something that grew more and more powerful and now is often my guidance compass. It is so simple that you probably already know it. That is to believe what people do and not what they say. I know that is common sense but it has become my most useful tool for filtering out negativity. Doing this allowed me to improve my own values by assessing what I am doing, balance my level of commitment with my friends, and to avoid traps with coworkers and acquaintances.

The reality is that most of us are not fully who we imagine ourselves to be. So this is not my way of disregarding people for minor faults, we all have them, but it has also not been malicious in my experience to take in others in this more honest way. Plus it has been beneficial to me to apply it to myself so that I am more the person I want to be while also making a conscious decision to only allow the right people to give advice.

While I poke fun at myself about it, how delayed/obvious it may sound, I think it makes sense that this simple idea took so long for me to capture. After all, most people around us do not want us to look at their actions rather than their words. So that is it, my dumb-but-lovely little tool.

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