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Published:April 20th, 2010 10:11 EST
Relationships (Part Four)

Relationships (Part Four)

By Ignatius Fernandez

"The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives, by altering their attitude  of mind." William James

What William James is conveying to us is that our ways are not cast in stone. They can be changed for the better. And with that change, we can usher in happiness. His words are easy to read, but difficult to actualize, because we resist change. We enjoy the comfort zone that we have marked out for ourselves and will not budge out of it, even when we know that some of our ways make us and others unhappy. Why are we obdurate?

Did our parents fail to correct us? Did we rebel against their good advice? Did the programming from outside the home cancel the good  inputs we received from it? Has experience shown us that we should protect only our interests? That others in our life don`t really matter? Many, many reasons can be listed for the way we turned out. But the good news from William James is that change is possible, if we set our minds to it. It is a deliberate choice that we can and should make.

Stephen R.Covey, with great insight, writes:"Between stimulus and response is our greatest power - the freedom to choose". We can choose good over evil; or evil over good. We can choose to mend our ways or persist in them. We can choose to bring joy or sadness into the lives of others. What Power! Using the same language, Og Mandino, in his classic, The Greatest Miracle in the World, conclusively establishes that we are created unique; that there are no clones among us. Each unique person is blessed with the power of choice; free will.

Exercising that power rightly, each of us determines the kind of happiness we will bring into our lives and the lives of others, through relationships. Some of us shut the doors of our hearts and throw away the key. Then unhappiness makes a back-door entry into those hearts. Some others open their hearts wide and let happiness walk in as well. The choice matters.

The right choices and the changed beliefs give us a changed character. Antony Robbins expresses this thought lucidly when he writes: "As we delevope new beliefs about who we are, our behaviour will change to support the new identity". What wonders await us, if only we try!

Relationships (Part Three) - In a relationship, communication is important. And in communication, attitude is paramount.

Relationships (Part Two) - My relationships will depend on making myself attractive to others and looking for goodness in them.

Relationships (Part One) - Relationships are about giving, because the measure you give is the measure you will get.


Judyth Piazza chats with Sean Covey, Author of The 7 Habits of ...