“Do you know why you are so stressed?”
“You are trying too hard to be the hero! You think you have to know it all!By being that way it keeps you from learning. It keeps you from growing and recognizing the good things about yourself and the people around you. Just because you have had success in other arenas it doesn’t mean you don’t have to room to grow in your current arena. “
“But doesn’t being teachable show weakness?”
“Heck no. It shows power. Power under control. Being teachable is one component to being happier.”
The above words a mentor said to me many years ago and the older I get the more they resonate me.
At first I brushed them off. I felt like I handled stress very well and was a happy person.
Then, I took some time to reflect and he was right.
At the time, I did want to know it all. Why? Like a lot of people I strive to be #1. I didn’t want to show weakness and vulnerability. However, by being the know-it-all it put me in a position of constantly having to validate myself which in turn created more undue stress and unhappiness.
He couldn’t have been more right, one of the keys to happiness is being teachable.
Being teachable didn’t mean I was losing control, it meant I was displaying self control.
Here are 3 ways to become more teachable and enjoy more happiness.
- Being teachable means you aren’t a know-it-all. Look for opportunities to learn. If you are listening- you aren’t talking-thus you are learning.
- Become open to ideas vs being judgmental-Happiness comes when you accept people the way they are. They may not have reached your standard of perfection – but you welcome them and appreciate them anyway. They should not have to obtain your standards for you to care and appreciate them. You are to treat them with gentleness.
- Be an actor vs a reactor. This point is about taking the initiative when bad things happen. Folks, when you fly off the handle – you have lost control. When you tell someone, “You make me mad,” you’re admitting that they have control of your emotions. All you are doing is reacting to the world around you in a negative way. Be aware – you don’t have to react like that – you can act. You can take control. If you don’t have control of your emotions – who does?
One of my good friends once said in life stuff happens. People will unknowingly offend you and hurt you. How you respond to your hurts in life matters. Learn what triggers you. Be teachable to what emotionally hijacks you. What is your normal reaction when people hurt you? Retaliate? Get even? Stab them in the back? Or do you give the person grace? Forgive them? Treat them with kindness?
What has being teachable taught me as leader? To be patient, to really learn where another person is coming from and in turn has helped become a happier person.
I believe Dale Carnegie said it best, “It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” Dale Carnegie
Here is to your happiness!
Equip, Educate, Empower, and Encourage others to become better leaders!
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