The Golden Rule Is Wrong

king-on-throne Finally, this week I got of my ass and did another YouTube clip. It’s been a long time coming, but if you watch it, you will see that is very much reflected in the tight well rehearsed word perfect script, painstaking editing and overall professional feel, with dare I say it, a dash of Hollywood thrown in for good measure.

It’s an explanation of how to make better decisions and why sometimes you’re more clever than even you think you are. Cunning stuff indeed.

If you, and yes, I do mean YOU, have a question on Life Coaching or general self-development, please let me know. If it’s an interesting ‘how to’, I may even put it out on YouTube or  answer it here. I can’t promise I’ll use it, but at least it will help me to feel wanted and important. You’ll find my e-mail address here.

When I first received an e-mail from Robin Krieglstein from Goal Tribe offering a guest post I was somewhat taken aback. He actually sent seven post titles to me and asked me which one I wanted. What a tantalizing and innovative approach I thought. The net result was I opted for the one you see before you now because I was intrigued by the title and I know you will be too. So read on….

The Golden Rule Is Wrong

Some form of the Golden Rule exists in most religions and philosophies around the world. It seems to perfectly sum up morality in one simple sentence:  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” That should keep you out of trouble, right?

Wrong! The Golden Rule has a fatal flaw that gets lots of people into deep trouble.

Read on to learn the Revised Golden Rule Version and discover how it will:
1.    Prevent you from upsetting people unnecessarily
2.    Allow you to create more harmonious relationships
3.    Be more successful at achieving any goals involving other people (i.e. all of them)

The Golden Rule’s Fatal Flaw

Consider this: Wilma comes home upset and ranting about how a friend has wronged her yet again. Fred is a problem solver, so he immediately starts suggesting various solutions to Wilma. But Wilma just wants someone to listen to her first. She just needs to talk it out and then she’ll feel better. Because Fred isn’t listening and keeps distracting her with ideas, Wilma get furious and shouts, “You never listen to me!” as she storms out the door. Fred is confused because he, “Did unto Wilma as he would want Wilma to do for him.” He focused on how to solve the problem. He focused on what he would want, not what Wilma would want.

The problem with the Golden Rule is the second part:

Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You

People constantly “help” others in the way that they themselves would want to be helped, but the other person doesn’t feel helped at all, because it’s not the way that THEY want to be helped.  Sure, it’s the thought that counts, but it’s MUCH better if the thought and the action are both appreciated.

Now notice how the Revised Golden Rule avoids these kinds of conflicts:

Do Unto Others as They Would Like to Have Done To Them

The Golden Rule originated thousands of years ago when people tended to live with people who mostly looked, dressed, talked, and thought pretty much like each other. But you probably interact every day with people who have different opinions on clothing, music, politics, spirituality, culture, manners and morality. So the odds are much higher today that someone has very different opinions from you about how they like to be treated.

A Few Dramatic Examples:

To really help the point sink in, here are some examples of someone trying to be nice, but messing it up because they didn’t take into account what the other person would want:

dog-carrying-bones1.    Tina throws Bob a huge, glitzy surprise party, but Bob is an introvert and would prefer a quiet evening with just the two of them.

2.    Lisa loves hugs, but she often makes more reserved people feel uncomfortable when she gives them a squeeze despite their attempts to avoid them.

3.    Martha bakes her favorite super sweet cake for Jamie’s birthday, but Jamie doesn’t like sweets.

4.    Vernon prides himself on speed, and whips out a bare-bones report for his boss 2 days early, but his boss values quality, and fires Vernon for lack of attention to detail.

5.    After a delicious meal in China, Rupert licks his lips and grins – but the chef is insulted because in this part of China a belch is the only way to declare a meal tasty.

Are you starting to get the idea? To explore this concept further, take a look at Tim’s post “The Map is Not the Territory”. This little distinction can make a big difference in your relationships, your career, your business and all areas of your life. Here’s how:

5 Steps to a Platinum Life using the Revised Golden Rule

1.    Open Up to the profound idea that other people have radically different worldviews than you do, and they are just as convinced of their idea of how things should be as you are of yours. And that’s perfectly alright! The sooner you accept that, the sooner your life will get easier. (Tims note: Check out Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson)

2.    Listen closely to other people to begin understanding how they see the world and what their standards and preferences are. Often people only keep track of their own model of reality. But your mind is extraordinary enough to track many different versions of reality. You don’t have to agree with them, just understand them. (If this is difficult for you, see my post “Would You Rather be Right or be Happy?”)

3.    Identify how the people you know like to be treated. What do they like or dislike? Are they more organized or spontaneous? Do they like surprises or plans? Are they more formal or casual? What are their favorite things to do? What are their rules for behavior?

4.    Remember a person’s preferences for the next time you have an opportunity to use that knowledge.

5.    Surprise them when you get an opportunity by showing how well you know them. Show your spouse that you know her ideal night out. Show your kids that you know how they like their lunch prepared. Show your manager that you know how they like projects to be completed. Show your customers that you know how they like to be served. Nothing builds a relationship like showing that you pay attention and care about someone’s interests.

Keeping the Revised Golden Rule in mind will help you strengthen all the relationships that make up your personal and business life. You’ll avoid the missteps that thwart your efforts to connect with and support your friends, family and coworkers, and you’ll find it a little easier to work with others to achieve your life goals.

Remember: Do Unto Others as They Would Like to Have Done To Them

Do you have any stories of someone doing something for you that didn’t really work out because they didn’t take your preferences into account? Please share them in the comments.

Robin Krieglstein is the Founder and CEO of GoalTribe.com, the most advanced goal achievement social network on the planet (according to Robin!). GoalTribe offers free, step-by-step guidance to plan your goals, get a support team, build motivation, track your progress and overcome all obstacles. GoalTribe is the culmination of Robin’s 20 year passion for accelerating self improvement through technology. On GoalTribe’s blog, Robin explores life changing ideas colored by stories from his around-the-world travels through 38 countries.

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Finally I want to share with you the funniest testimonial anybody has ever sent me. I got it yesterday from Guy who runs My One Piece of Advice and I laughed my ass off. Shameless self-promotion I know, but whatchya gonna do?

“Thanks to Tim I am now a millionaire, own 2 yachts, sleep with supermodels and have been on the cover of Time magazine. Or not.  But if those were my life goals I think Tim might just be the person to get me there.

Tim rationalises my irrationalities, tames my fears  and reframes the shit out everything.  He’s that good I hope to actually pay him what I owe him sometime!  Though he will probably just waste the money on getting American quality teeth to satisfy his visa conditions.”