Surviving in the world of “isms”

Racism. Sexism. Ageism. Antisemitism.

We humans like to label people and things so we can navigate life without thinking too much.

We categorize because it makes life simpler. We’ve been doing it since time immemorial – large animals with big teeth are bad, apples are good, the guys from the other clan (church, town, company, political party) must be subdued or suppressed.

We’re suspicious of anyone who isn’t like us. Men and women often don’t understand each other. Same thing with old people and young people, black people and white people, straight people and LGBT people.

We might actually like “the other guys” if we got to know each other. It’s simply that our crocodile brains see someone who isn’t like us and our guard goes up. We fear others because we think they might take something from us – our property, our freedom, or our beliefs.

So what do we do about it?

One thing we can do is to take a moment to listen to the other people. Really listen. Not to their complaints and outrage, but to their hopes and dreams and to their hearts.

Listening is hard work and it doesn’t come easily to us.

We can be aware that others can’t “make us” feel anything. If we say “they make me angry” or “I feel threatened by them”, we’re wrong. Feelings come from the inside out, not the outside in. No one can MAKE you feel ANYTHING.

Since they get so much free publicity in the media, we need recognize that the organizations and groups that foment outrage and violence are doing the exact opposite of what they say they want to do.

Peace doesn’t come from throwing Molotov cocktails or bags of excrement. Peace comes from understanding and forgiveness.

To change our lives, we don’t need to do anything.

I spent some time on the elliptical machine at the gym today. There was an older woman on the machine in front of me. She was probably in her 60s. Four machines to my right was a woman dressed in traditional garb of some kind – a long tunic-type garment and a headscarf.

The woman in the headscarf was talking on her phone as she worked out. (I had to admire her – if I was in a long skirt and a headscarf I would be sweating bullets.) Scarf lady wasn’t wasn’t disturbing anyone other than the woman in front of me, who kept looking over at her with disdain because she didn’t like the fact that scarf lady was talking on the phone.

Every time the older woman looked at her, I found myself thinking, “she’s really stuck in her thinking about scarf lady”. So I did the only thing I could, which was to snicker derisively at the older woman.

It didn’t occur to me until after I had snickered the few times that I was doing the same the thing – I was stuck in the feeling of my thinking, too.

I’ve been irritated by other people’s behavior bajillions of times. Where does the irritation come from? From thinking that what they’re doing (on the outside) controls how I feel (on the inside).

In truth, by changing my thinking and remembering that I create my life from the inside out, my level of empathy for the older woman increased and I stopped feeling critical.

To enjoy a higher quality of life, we don’t have to change anything or cop a positive attitude or recite affirmations: by remembering that life happens from the inside out, we come into alignment with reality and our problems simply fall away.

If you were my brother or sister…

This is what I would tell you about joining a network marketing company if you were my brother or my sister.

Brother_And_Sister_by_Graz_D“Since you’re considering joining the network marketing profession there’s a few things that I’d like to share with you.

“As you know I’ve been in and around the MLM profession for about 35 years. I have done pretty well in a few and failed miserably and others. Sometimes it was the fault of the company, but more often it was my own responsibility–I didn’t choose wisely and I didn’t have the skills I needed to succeed.

“So as you consider joining a network marketing company there’s a few things I can share with you I think will make a difference.

“First, find a company you can fall in love with. It’s like any other relationship-if you don’t really, truly love the person you’re with it won’t last long. You need to find a company that has values that are similar to yours and that you won’t be ashamed tell your friends about.

“Find a company that has a mission you think is important. It’s important because there will be times when you want to quit. If you have a feeling that what you’re doing is important, that passion will draw you forward to produce great things.

“Next, you have to represent a product you think is worthwhile. If you’re telling people about your product and you’re not really 100% confident that they’re worth the money, you’re ripping people off. Never jeopardize your integrity. It takes a lifetime to build reputation but only one bad decision to ruin.

“Remember that when you find someone to join your company you have a grave responsibility to them. They’re putting their future and their dreams in your hands and if all you’re trying to do is make a few bucks by signing them up, you are misleading them. You have to provide them with the tools they need or else they’ll fail. So it’s important to join a company that has high-quality tools and training so that you can help others succeed.

“It’s ultra-important that you get people started the right way. Most people who get into MLM have never owned a business before. They have unrealistic expectations about what they can achieve in the short-term and they underestimate what they can do in the long-term. So you have to know what’s possible and realistic, then you need to gently help them understand the same thing.

“If you’re just getting started in network marketing, you must know the difference, so find someone who can help you with that.

“Choose a sponsor who won’t let you off the hook. If you really, truly want to succeed in MLM you have to have a burning desire. But you also have to have an upline who keeps blowing on the embers of your desire when they dim. Find someone who has the skills and the compassion to help you get where you want to go. Even if they have to show you some “tough love” once in a while.

“As someone I care about I’d tell you about “my” network marketing company to see if it’d be a good fit for you. The name of the company is LifeVantage. If you join me, I can help you get where you want to go. Use the form below to contact me.”