How to Cultivate the Qualities You Want For Yourself and Others

December 1, 2013


How many times in your life do you think you’ve said, life would be so much easier if this person were more compassionate or I’d be so much happier if you were more patient or why can’t he be a little more understanding?

Whenever I get frustrated by someone or something in my life, and ask myself the questions above, my mom always says to me, “Oh, that’s interesting, what do you think it is about you that is bringing up these tense feelings?” Of course, this annoys the crap out of me because clearly, I’m not the one with the problem, the people with all these other issues are the problem. Or maybe, this is where I’m wrong.

The people that we come in contact with day in and day out are mirrors reflecting back so much useful information for our lives. The qualities and characteristics that we point out and project in others are usually the ones that we could stand to enhance in our own lives. People come into our lives for reasons; every encounter and relationship is necessary to teach us something, to help us grow into being the highest version of ourselves.

The idea of noticing qualities in others and having that resonate in some way is called mirroring. We hear a lot about mirroring these days; if something about another person is really bothering you, sit and think about why and then look at that in yourself. I mean, Justin Timberlake even croons all day long about mirrors, and people seem to identify with it, so I think it’s safe to say that mirroring is a thing and it’s real. The concept of mirrors can be really confronting and sometimes uncomfortable. It really makes us take a good, hard look at ourselves and our weaknesses and the areas where we can improve.

This week we’ll focus on how to be aware of the feelings that arise and how to cultivate, embody, and project all the qualities you wish for yourself and for all those around you.

  1. Be Present in All Situations. When interacting with people notice how you feel in any exchange. Do you envy them? Are you frustrated with them? Do they make you feel loved? When we pick up on certain qualities in others, that quality is somewhere resonating in ourselves.
  2. Do a Self-Inventory. After noticing the emotions that are arising in this moment when you interact with people, take note and make a list. These can be both positive and negative. Maybe someone was super impatient with you in the store and that really made you upset. Notice it, and strive to bring more patience into your life. Keep this concept with you as you go through your list of qualities you’d like to embody.
  3. Be the Change You Wish to See in the World. You now know how you’d like other people to be; lead by example and show the world. Be that positive mirror for others to reflect off of and create a ripple effect of positivity. Change comes from action; take a step in cultivating the ideal qualities in yourself and notice others in your life begin to follow suit.

How can you enact positive changes in your life? What are the mirrors in your life telling you? Let us know!

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