LAINAUS SIVUSTOLTA ZEN HABITS:

“When people see some things as beautiful,

other things become ugly.

When people see some things as good,

other things become bad.”

Lao Tzu


But why make this change? Why should we stop judging? Why should we stop expecting?

Because judgments stop us from understanding, and can ruin our happiness. When we judge, we don’t seek to understand — we’ve already come to a conclusion. If we stop judging, we allow ourselves to try to understand, and then we can take a much smarter course of action, because we’re better informed by our understanding.

Judging makes us unhappy. So do expectations.

When we leave judgment behind, we can live in the moment, taking what comes as neither good or bad, but simply what is. We can stop ruining our happiness with our thinking, and start living instead.

The How

So how do we start doing this? In small steps, as always.

1 First, start by being more aware. Throughout the course of the day today, note when you make judgments, note when you have expectations, and when things don’t live up to them. Over time, you’ll notice this more and more, and be much more conscious of these types of thoughts.

2 Next, pause each time you notice a judgment or expectation. Take a breath. Then tell yourself, “No expectations, no good or bad.” Repeat this, letting go of the judgment or expectation.

3 Third, seek to see things as they are, and to understand. Be curious as to why things are the way they are, why people act the way they act. Investigate, empathize, try to put yourself in people’s shoes. See the landscape of your life as it actually is, without the filter of judgments or expectations.

4 Next, take what comes. Experience it, in the moment. React appropriately, without overreacting because it isn’t as you hoped or wanted. You can’t control life, or others, but you can control how you react.

5 Then, accept. When things happen, understand why they do, without judgment, and accept them as they are. Accept people for who they are. Accept yourself, without judgment, as you are. This takes practice.

6 Finally, know that the present moment, being as it is, also contains infinite possibilities. And those possibilities are opened up once you see things as they are, without judgment or expectations.

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