Life lessons are not usually learned the easy way. Most of us tend to grow and learn in the challenging and difficult times of life. It’s in the hard seasons that we see what we are made of and what we are not. It is human nature to resist change and difficulty. We want life to be easy and things to go our way, but let’s face it, we live in the real world, and most days are just not that way. The world is filled with people and they can be our biggest challenge. People we work with, people we live with, people in our family, people are everywhere! If we don’t learn how to handle people, all types of people, we will never have success in life or in our relationships. We will find ourselves running away, trying to find a new job with new people, a new spouse, new friends, and eventually, people will be people and the cycle will repeat itself all over again. We need to stop running from people and embrace the reality that in most cases we need to change our approach to people. You might be facing a difficult situation at work or at home with people in your life. Realize that you might not be able to change the other person, but you can make changes in yourself. It all starts with perspective. How do you see yourself, the world around you and the people in your life? You will see people and situations through the lens of how you see yourself and how you think other people perceive you! If you are negative and sarcastic, you will probably see situations in a negative and sarcastic light. On the other hand, if you are positive and optimistic, you will probably see people and situations in a positive and optimistic light.
I recently went through a difficult situation with people in my life. It caused me to evaluate my own actions and personality, and take a deeper look at how I was coming across to others. It’s funny how we can make excuses for our actions and behavior, but in reality we are responsible for how well our relationships go. These are the lessons I’ve learned lately through my own life experiences with people, I hope they will help you today:
#1) Honor the people in your life. Remember the “Golden Rule.” Treat others like you would like to be treated. We forget this concept, but it really works. If we will just think about how we would like to be treated before we say or do something, it will save us a lot of trouble with people.
“Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! Luke 6:31 The Message
#2) Make people feel valued and important. Take time to let people know you genuinely care. What makes you feel valued and important? Now, go do or say the same things to the people in your life! It’s amazing how just asking someone how their weekend was, and taking time to listen will make a difference. Try it with your co-workers. There are many ways to show people you care. Be creative! It doesn’t take much to make someone feel important to you. I had a fabulous friend bring me flowers to work one day when I was having a hard time… it meant the world to me that someone went out of their way to make me feel valuable. It worked!
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
#3) Realize it’s not all about you. Next time you are with a friend or family member don’t talk about yourself and your life the entire time. Make it all about the other person. Putting other people first does not come naturally; it is something you will have to work at. It may take a lifetime to achieve, but don’t give up. The more we can make life about other people and how we can add value to their lives and be a blessing to them, the more we will enjoy our own life!
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-6
Life is not at all about us. It’s about the people in our lives and how we can make a difference in them by being a person that adds value, brings honor, and displays a selfless attitude. Take the challenge to make the people in your life feel like they are the most valuable, important, and loved people on the planet. When you make life about honoring people, you will be happier and people will honor you!