Being a non-judgmental Observer
Have you noticed that judgment comes easily? It is difficult for me to be non-judgmental. The reflex is to judge an action as good, bad, stupid, wise or whatever. Even worse (see, there goes judgment again) is the tendency to label people the same way.
It is entirely possible that this only afflicts me, but I doubt it. I hear others using judgmental language almost incessantly. And here I am referring to the negative judgments: "What an *!*!??" or "That is so stupid" or "He's so lame!"
Is even the labeling of some judgments as positive and others as negative, too judgmental? Try this experiment: Go for one day without expressing a judgment out loud. (Yes, I know, you could think it and that's OK for now. We'll deal with thoughts in another exercise.) It's called doing baby steps. First we control what we say. Then we control what we think. This is the hard mental labor that Haanel references.
So, just to be clear, here is the task:
- Go one day without expressing a negative judgment out loud.
- Once you are successful, go one day without expressing any judgment out loud.
If you can do this, you are well on your way to controlling your thoughts.