Communicating & Relationships ~ Replug YOU Series

“Intelligence is our ability to formulate and express our thoughts in a coherent way. As well as engaging to the practical challenges of our world/society.”
– Howard Gardner

An ancient Buddhist story tells of two monks traveling down a road back towards their monastery. One elder (the leader), and the other, younger, (the apprentice). They came across a river with an elderly lady wishing to pass. The river was not deep, however, there were no means to help her cross. The elderly monk decided that he would give the old lady a lift on his back across the river. The young monk was shocked at this gesture for a male monk should have no physical contact with a female.
‘We can’t help her,’ said the young monk, ‘but we will send someone who can.’
‘No, that will not do,’ replied the elderly monk, and so without hesitation the elderly monk carried the old lady across the river.
Of course as you imagine, she was most grateful. The two monks then continued on their journey. Two hours later into their journey, the younger monk in growing frustration suddenly blurted out ‘How could you carry that old lady when it is against the rules.’ The elderly monk turned to smile at the younger monk and said, ‘I put the old lady down two hours ago, but yet she is still on your mind’. The elderly monk turned and said nothing more. They continued the rest of their journey in silence.

It is an interesting story, which teaches us that by allowing things to harbour and fester in your mind only causes yourself to become consumed with frustration and anger.

I have often wondered whether humans have yet to see colours and feel emotions beyond our current capabilities and imagination. If our technologies and lifestyles can evolve over time, then certainly our minds, imagination and feelings can also, one would expect. A lovely thought it may be, but relationships and communication are practical and visible experiences.

Remember, you should not allow your emotions to be contained merely to words. Emotions have evolved from the explosions of the cosmos for we are all elements of the universe and its properties. Sometimes our emotions and feelings are not as simple as ‘like’ and ‘don’t like’, or ‘love’ and ‘hate’. When I lived in Japan for three years, I observed that the Japanese do not simply express their emotions of love and gratitude by way of words, but by actions, and when giving advice to others about relationships I always say five simple things:

  • Let your actions do the talking
  • Observe
  • Compliment
  • Find a new word or phrase to express yourself and your love. I prefer to say that ‘I am in harmony with you’, as opposed to ‘I love you’ most of the time. After all, we are all unique individuals, so why use an expression just because most people do. This thought shift alone could change the way we approach the use of the word ‘love’ and its apparent necessity
  • Be love/harmony without reservations and people will naturally gravitate to your existence

The world average life expectancy may be sixty-seven years, but the average life expectancy of a person in a developed country is around seventy to eighty years old. Throughout life one will go through six to eight dimensions (or stages in life) with key primary focuses. In a complete basic nutshell (though mindful this is not applicable to all) the primary focuses may be as follows:

0-10 years: Toys, friends, playtime, family, mum, dad…
10-20 years: Friends, study, adventure, finance, community…
20-30 years: Finance, career, future, identity, relationships, children,…
30-40 years: Finance, career, family, future, children…
40-50 years: Finance, community, family, future, children…
50-60 years: Family, community…
60-70 years: Family, death, community…
70-80 years: Family, death, community…

If you have these dimensions/stages clear in your mind then roughly depending on the age of someone you know, their main primary focus in life may well correlate with any of the above. Their main drive and activities in life could well be propelled by either of the above categories in each year frame. Knowing the dynamics of someone’s life goes a long way to establishing grounded communications and understanding.

One of my favourite musicians once said that the secret to his success was observation. It has been a key element to the management and development of my relationships whether it be intimate or friendship based. If you can learn to observe before judging and/or making comments on a situation then our input will be more valid and our perception during the course of observation may even change. Do not always be too hasty to comment or blame. Take a step back and observe with an open mind. This helps to substantiate the words that later follow from your mouth…|…

To explore the rest of this chapter’s contents (Dealing with Conflict, Better Communications for Work and Private Life, Overcoming a Friendship/Relationship Split) and its related practical exercises (as well as the book’s Introduction, Closing Note, bonus chapter: Elements of ‘O’ a New YOU, Afterwords, and Inspirational References), buy the Replug YOU eBook/Book:


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