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  • All You Need Is (Unconditional) LOVE: How To Stop Judging and Start Loving

    January 26th, 2013 by Hal Elrod

    The other day, one of my coaching clients said, “Hal, I need to work on being less judgmental. I don’t like how I’m always judging other people. Can you coach me on that?” Here’s what I told him, which I realize some my find controversial and many will surely disagree with…

    Although actions make speaker louder

    I am a recovering judge-aholic. Yes, it’s true. I used to spend far too much of my time and mental energy judging others, coming from the perspective of their way of thinking, believing, or behaving is “wrong” because it is different than how I think, believe, or behave.

    This seems to be the way most of us operate, consciously and unconsciously judging other people based on their words… their actions… their opinions… their choices… their beliefs… their clothing… you name it, we judge it.

    Then I started to read books about love — specifically, unconditional love. And my perspective completely changed.

    I believe that the greatest blessing we have been given are the people we get to share our lives with, and our greatest joy is in loving each other, beginning with loving ourselves.

    But if our love has conditions — or if we judge ourselves harshly because of our mistakes and imperfections, and if we judge other people before allowing ourselves to really get to know them — then I think we miss out on something extraordinary.  I think that there is an opportunity for us to experience infinitely more joy and love in our lives, but making a conscious choice to love more, and judge less. But how?

    Although actions speak louder than words… It is our intentions which reveal our soul. 

    It has been my observation that most of us make judgments about other people based upon their words and their actions.  We tend to deem what people say, and what they do, to be the truth about who they are.  Take a moment to evaluate whether this observation is true for you—do you tend to judge others based upon what they say and do?

    Of course, we all do.

    Consider this: have you ever mistakenly said something—in the heat of the moment—that you didn’t really mean? Maybe you even later regretted having said it, and wished you could take it back?

    Of course, we all have.

    And you have ever done something—maybe out of fear, anger, excitement or some other fleeting emotion—that wasn’t a true reflection of your character and who you aspire to be? Something that wasn’t in alignment with your values and who you are at your core, but was rather based on some momentary lapse of judgment or loss of control.

    Sure, who hasn’t?

    Would it be safe to say, then, that our words and our actions don’t necessarily tell the whole story of who we are, and who we are striving to become?

    The possibility that I am sharing with you is that although our actions may speak louder than our words, neither one of them accurately portrays who we are.  I believe it is our deepest intentions, as well as our deepest desires, that speak the truth about who we are.

    For example…

    If a person lashes out because they’re insecure or feel their needs aren’t being met, and they really just want to be loved and acknowledged, rather than judging them based on their outburst, I’m suggesting investing the time and care to get to know WHY they lashed out, WHO they are beyond their emotional reaction, and WHAT they truly want. Once you know that, there’s really no reason to judge, but just to understand.

    In relationships (particularly romantic relationships), I’ve found that this approach minimizes conflict, deepens your connection, and allows for real empathy and understanding.

    So, if you desire to create and sustain optimal relationships with the people in your life—to experience true, unconditional love and to be loved in the same way—take the time to get to know people by their intentions.  The challenge is that this takes time, and it requires patience.  Sometimes you have to look really deep below the surface—five, six, seven layers deep—to truly know who someone’s heart and soul… but the rewards are priceless.

    Question: How would your life — and your relationships — be enhanced with less judgment and more unconditional love? Please leave your comments and/or questions below, and I’ll be sure to respond within 48 hours…

    Share this with a friend or colleague:

     

    This entry was posted on Saturday, January 26th, 2013 at 7:23 am and is filed under Blogs, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

    • mystic

      Beautiful! Thank you for sharing :) )

    • http://YoPalHal.com/ “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod

      You’re welcome, and thank YOU for commenting! :^)

    • Jason Heinritz

      Like Tony Robbins says in his UPW course, we all have a primary FEAR of not being LOVED. As selfish as we all are at times, we need to show others what we also want for ourselves. I feel that’s one of the best ways to attract what you want……practice and show it first.

    • TCSquared

      That is so true, Hal. Thanks for sharing.

    • Fred Salas

      Hal, thank you for reminding me of my strongest core value-Love. Your book MM is changing my life. I’m grateful.

    • Konani

      Amazing! Thank you Hal, for sharing this very valuable lesson. It’s so true! You have reminded me to be less judgmental and to have more unconditional love by looking beneath the surface. I will remember this the next time I find myself judging someone else or myself. Remembering to love unconditionally will enhance so many aspects of my life. Personal growth and learning new things isn’t about being better than others, but rather ourselves being better than we used to be. Judging is so unnecessary.

    • http://YoPalHal.com/ “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod

      You’re very welcome, Fred. I’m so grateful to hear that The Miracle Morning is changing your life! Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

    • http://YoPalHal.com/ “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod

      My pleasure, TC. Thank you!

    • Wendy

      Thanks Hal, What a place to be at a level of consciousness that you are able to see and be seen beyond our words or actions and to our true intentions. Sometimes I think we lose sight of our true intentions and act from fear, anger, hurt and then find ourselves misunderstood or misunderstanding others!!

    • Carole

      Hal, you’re right but until we have the love of God (the only One Who has unconditional love) in our heart we can’t love unconditionally. You can’t give what you don’t have.

    • Michael Carson

      I like to think I’ve been pretty fair with others leading the “live and let live” philosophy, saving my judgements knowing that walking a mile in another’s shoes can reveal another truth. My problem has always been that inner voice constantly going over how my actions in the past could have been different. The “would have, could have, should have” syndrome that I experience has never found a way out of that self judging mantra.

      Your words reminding all of us that a single action does not define who we really are is a true revelation for me. I’ve just started your four month Master Coaching program and my head is already reeling at all I can improve.
      Thanks

    • Brian Shenk

      Hal, I really enjoy taking the time to read the little insights you share with us. I have a tendency to try to “fix” people when I find something that I believe might help them grow and be happier; however, sometimes people are unwilling to change perspectives. How might I combine trying to help people be happy with accepting them how they are?

    • Sidonie Foadey

      So true! Our intentions create who, what we are… Being conscious of my judgemental tendency helps me to be more vigilant, mindful and change my thought as soon as it occurs. This practice has taught me self-compassion and acceptance. The mind never stops so, it’s an ongoing process… Thanks, Hal!

    • http://YoPalHal.com/ “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod

      Michael,

      This is so great to hear! It sounds like you are in a very open-minded place right now, which is exactly the mindset that is going to allow you to maximize your results in the Miracle Morning V.I.P. Mastermind Coaching program. (www.VIPMastermindCoaching.com)

      Thank you for sharing your insights and realizations here, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be work with for the next 4 months…

      - Hal

    • http://YoPalHal.com/ “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod

      Amen, Carole. :^)

    • http://YoPalHal.com/ “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod

      Wendy, thank you for your kind words. Your increased level of self-awareness (based on your comments here) is the first step in maintaining control of your words and actions, so that you can consciously focus on aligning each with your TRUE intentions.

    • http://YoPalHal.com/ “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod

      Excellent insights, Jason. Thank you for always adding value, my friend!

    • http://YoPalHal.com/ “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod

      You’re welcome, Konani. And thank YOU for your authenticity and for being vulnerable enough to share so openly in your comments.

    • http://YoPalHal.com/ “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod

      Hi Sidonie! You’re very welcome, and thank you for sharing your take-aways. And you are right: it is definitely an ongoing process — not a one-time realization — that is necessary for us to grow and improve. :^)

    • http://YoPalHal.com/ “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod

      Hi Brian, excellent question! To combine trying to help people be happy with accepting them how they are, you do exactly that. Meaning, you acknowledge and appreciate all of their good qualities and intentions, and you encourage them to learn and grow WITH you. I’ve found the best way to do this is to share (with excitement) resources that have helped or are helping you (books, videos, audios, etc.) and invite them to do it with you. For example, my wife and I read self-improvement books TOGETHER. FYI – The first one we read together was “A Complaint Free World.”

      Hope that helps! :^)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10724905 Ian Liddle

      It kinda sounds like you’re saying, “don’t judge people by what they say or do–judge them by their intentions!” Which is to say, you’re *still judging*, you cagey judge-aholic! :)

      Postponing judgement is going to work only so long as you’re suspending judgement; the difficulty is in accepting that you will never be able to pigeonhole another person, and that the truth of who they are is richer and deeper than even they realize.

      Perhaps what you’re babystepping us towards is the understanding that any notion of certainty (i.e., that which frees us from mystery, and the need to stay in relationship) is only going to cause harm eventually.

    • http://YoPalHal.com/ “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod

      Ian, I love your always intelligent and insightful approach to life! I can definitely see how it sounds that way, but my “intention” was not to suggesting judging others based on their intentions, but rather reserving judgment and instead striving to truly KNOW others based on their deepest intentions and desires.

      For example, if a person lashes out because they’re insecure or feel their needs aren’t being met, and they really just want to be loved and/or acknowledged, rather than judging them based on their lashing out, I’m suggesting investing the time and care to get to know WHY they lashed out, WHO they are beyond their emotional reaction, and WHAT they truly want. Once you know that, there’s really no reason to judge, but just to understand.

      In relationships (particularly romantic relationships), I’ve found that this approach minimizes conflict, deepens the connection, and allows for real empathy and understanding.

      I hope that sheds a little more context on this post, and thank you for adding value to the discussion.

      With sincere gratitude,

      - Hal

    • Dan The Man

      All you need is Love. da da da dada…Could be a great song one day! ;) But truth be told regardless of belief in Deity or significant other you MUST love yourself first. I’ve done this exercise where you write a letter of forgiveness to yourself (yes, that means write it out, put it in an envelope, stamp it up and send it) for all of your misgivings, wrong doings. Try it. Then, if there is anyone in your life that you feel is owed an apology, or forgiveness, by all means please write that person. In order to have trueness of heart, you must be honest with yourself. In order to be honest, you must forgive yourself and others. Its a process for sure. But when you can honestly and truly love yourself, then and only then can you begin to love others. So get on loving yourself!