Just came home from a very nice dinner at the Hilton in Amsterdam, where I was the guest speaker at the weekly rendezvous of the International Rotary Amsterdam. It was an interesting evening where I learned a valuable lesson I’d like to share with you.
I was asked to talk about my work as a personality coach and how I was able to help people to find their happiness. So I told them my personal story how I came to the epiphany of the 5 sources of happiness. It was nice to see that the story made people think about happiness. The questions that came after the talk were also very inspiring and thoughtful. But that wasn’t the thing I took home with me as a lesson.
It was actually the introduction I got from a friend who introduced me to Rotary and specifically for my talk tonight. He said things about me I never realized I had this effect on others. Hearing him say “I am a warrior when it comes to delivering my ambitions, a saint when it comes to treating people with respect and showing up with outright love” was quite something to hear someone say about you. It made me feel humble and thankful for the things I do. It makes me appreciate even more the fact that I can do this work.
Most of us find it hard to receive compliments like this. I know I do. We wave them away with answers like: ‘oh well, no, it’s not that of a big deal’ or, ‘ah, well, you know, you also are a great guy’. But actually that’s not fair to the one who gave you the compliment. It is okay to receive it with an open mind and heart. So I am very thankful for this compliment. In this case I was also forced to surrender myself to this, because I was just standing there hearing these very kind words he said to everyone in the room. I suddenly realized I needed to surrender, to fully understand what he meant. By surrendering in the moment of receiving the compliment, I was able to fully embrace the receiving itself and hearing what he was saying.
So we sometimes have to surrender, to gain the opportunity to listen. We can then fully accept the things we hear. It forces us to be quiet, and just listen, instead of listening and already working on our answer. So I didn’t only realized and learned how to receive a compliment, but I also learned that I can listen better if I surrender to the situation. It doesn’t make you vulnerable, as you might think it will, but it will actually give you space in your mind to see things more clear and be more aware of what is actually happening. So you then can make a better decision on how to receive or react on that situation.
So I decided to practice this more. Surrender, to gain the opportunity to listen.
Take care of yourself, there’s only one of you.