Appreciating Those Differences
As my life has evolved these last few years, one thing that is certain is that I have had the opportunity to meet and get to know well a wide range of individuals. When you enter the coaching profession and first enter coach training, you become aware quickly that the discipline attracts a wide range of individuals. Coaches come from all walks of life.
As my life has evolved these last few years, one thing that is certain is that I have had the opportunity to meet and get to know well a wide range of individuals. When you enter the coaching profession and first enter coach training, you become aware quickly that the discipline attracts a wide range of individuals. Coaches come from all walks of life. Their reason for becoming a coach varies as their own individual story. The client base to which they target their services and in turn attract, are as different as their personalities.
Additionally my 2009 marriage had me move to a new community in my home state of New Jersey. It is among the most diverse in terms of population in the state. The town’s reputation is such that individuals who relocate here do so because they know they will be accepted no matter what their beliefs. Residents of the town work in harmony to promote a culture that celebrates those differences and at the same time keep the town attractive to both those who live here and visitors.
Diversity can be an easy thing for some with which to deal and a difficult item for others. Our July quote from the Motivations calendar is supported by a picture of various fishes in a tank. The fishes are different sizes, shapes and colors. Some look significantly different than others. Yet, they all co-exist in their environment. The quote supporting the picture reads: “Appreciating everyone’s uniqueness enriches all our endeavors”.
The reality is not everyone supports the differences of others. You don’t have to go far to realize that fact. The newspaper headlines shout of intolerance of each other’s views every day. It is rare I see a post on the internet where in the comments section of the article individuals not only disagree with what is written, but verbally attack the writer or subject’s thoughts by making negative personal comments about them as an individual. Our US political process has become one of personal attacks on the individual as opposed to a discussion and sharing of thoughts and ideas. It amazes me the negative energy that is used on anger and frustration because another person may choose to live differently than you or have an opinion that does not align with the one you have.
Have I agreed with the thoughts, ideas and approaches of all that have come into my life these last few years? No, I haven’t and I know that I likely never will. I have always been a somewhat conservative individual who is still quite aligned with many of the principles and teachings with which I have been brought up. All I ask of others is that they understand my desire to live my life by those principles, as I respect them for living their life by theirs. Taking this approach there are a few things I have come to realize.
First, I tend to live a more relaxed and less angry life than many of those around me. From the internal energy principles I learned during my coaching studies, it is so visible to me that I’m more often living my life in an anabolic energy state while those that let differences of others get to them are often in a catabolic energy state. Another observation is that less gets done when people are battling the differences they have in terms of working with others, than looking for that uniqueness the other has, and building an overall experience that enriches life for everybody. Finally, as our world gets “smaller and smaller”, be it through the technology that now ties us all together, or through the fact that it is easier to get from place to place far more so than it was fifty to one hundred years ago, the differences we will live with in terms of those around us are if anything going to increase as oppose to decrease.
What are you doing to appreciate the uniqueness of those around you? Are you looking for the positives those differences may expose you to, or are you constantly fighting those differences? Most of all, what will it take for you to co-exist in that “fish tank” with those that are around you, who may not look like you, believe like you or do things like you, but share the same space with you on an everyday basis? I welcome hearing your thoughts.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tony Calabrese of Absolute Transitions provides suggestions, approaches and information on how you can find a new job, move up to a new position, or change your career. To get his free report, "Overcoming Obstacles to Change Your Life" visit http://absolutetransitions.com