A Twist on Attitude
Recently I have stumbled onto what is now one of my favorite quotes of all time. Most quotes that I have wrote about are directly inspirational and motivational – not obvious, but relatively direct. This one – not so much.
“I don’t like that man, I must get to know him better.” – Abraham Lincoln
If I don’t like somebody, I don’t want anything to do with that person. I may not go out of my way to avoid them, but I’m not going to put in an ounce of effort into building anything constructive or positive with that person, right? Well, maybe there have been times where your first impressions, negative impressions, of someone might be completely backwards. That “maybe” is more than likely a “yes”.
In my opinion, this quote is absolutely genius. If you really think about why you might not like a particular person, chances are the reason is either silly or superficial. But we formulate these in our minds, these impressions, that we hold on to so tight and typically for no real good reason. The quote isn’t just about not liking someone. This quote is largely about your attitude. If you maintain this frame of mind, all of a sudden you notice that your initial judgments of people isn’t so harsh. In fact, you won’t do it.
What to Walk Away With
Living by the essence of Lincoln’s quote will give you opportunities to learn from others. No longer will you prohibit yourself from engaging with certain people you may be at odds with. Most importantly, begin to change your paradigm relative to how you interact with others. You become more open. You become more understanding. In the end, you are a smarter person for making an effort to get to know that person you might not like.
Image by sylvainlandry.