The Secret to Understanding Relationships

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    96 people had breakthroughs this week. Will the next one be you?

    Two things for you to think about

    What you hate in others is usually what you hate most in yourself. The people who drive you crazy do so because they reflect back at you the worst aspects of yourself that you have either tried to deny or overcome.

    We judge others by the same standards which we judge ourselves. If we judge ourselves by how much money we make, we will judge others by how much money they make. The values we’ve adopted for ourselves are the same values we project onto others.

    Reflect: Then consider sharing this thought with others.

    Three things for you to ask yourself

    What metrics have you adopted to measure your own self-worth? How have those metrics affected your relationships with others? Have they affected them in a positive way? A negative way? Both?

    Recommended: Use these as journaling prompts for the week.

    One thing for you to try this week

    Try forgiving someone for not living up to the metric you’ve established for yourself. Just because you believe you need to do something to deserve love, doesn’t mean everyone else does too. The world requires all different types. Ask yourself, “What value can they provide that I cannot?”

    Remember: Small changes lead to lasting breakthroughs. Reply to this email and let me know how it went for you.

    Last week’s breakthroughs

    In last week’s email, I asked you to do two things: choose a new meaningful struggle and engage in it, and choose a meaningless struggle and let it go.

    A lot of readers wrote back about their seemingly meaningless struggle with illness, but Sara found meaning in hers:

    I’ve had Lupus and RA for 3 years now. As a mom with young kids, it’s been difficult to see my illness as anything but meaningless pain and limitations. Lately, however, I’ve been delving into art more seriously than I have since I got sick. It’s disrupted the ease and near painless daily life I’ve had recently, as my hands hurt so bad when I push myself. I’m so happy and excited, though, more so than I’ve felt in a long time. Rather than struggling just to struggle, I think I’m struggling more, but with a purpose. Now that I can see it this way, I don’t feel so powerless. I feel like I *can* do the things I want. Even if I’m in pain, the happiness I feel is worth it.

    Merenia has made it her goal to give up a meaningless struggle many of us definitely share:

    My meaningless struggle is the hope that everyone will like me. I know it’s a cliché, but it somehow still bothers me! It’s strangers, or casual acquaintances, or a coworker I get along with fine on the surface but get the feeling they don’t like me. And it’s definitely meaningless because these aren’t people I have deeper involvement with—they aren’t close friends or family which would be different. So I waste my energy wondering. My goal is to just give that up and stop trying so hard when the natural connection just isn’t there, and know that it’s OK.

    While Anthony decided which struggles in his life are worth pursuing, and which to let go:

    Meaningful struggle: Try to continue to stay sober and focus on screenwriting and my real estate business.

    Meaningless struggle: To try to be superhuman and forget that I’m human and allow myself to fail and deal with it.

    And so did Nicolas:

    Meaningful struggle: Leaving the company I’ve been with for 11 years where I have a good salary. I’m working on a big project which can really make a difference in my community, so I’m taking the leap this year.

    Meaningless struggle: Pretending to be friends with the 400+ people on my Facebook friends list, this week I deleted over 200 people from my contact list. Letting go of dead weight and focusing on the real people that matter.

    As always, send your breakthroughs by simply replying to this email. Let me know if you’d prefer to remain anonymous. And if you would like to be considered for my YouTube coaching videos, fill in this form and include a short video recorded on your phone introducing yourself. We’ll be filming internationally, so you can apply from anywhere in the world.

    Until next week,

    Mark Manson

    #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
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