Tolerance


Tolerance to accept new ideas, or ideas and beliefs opposite to your own, is important.

Tolerance does not mean you have to adapt everything all others believe or do, but you should keep an open mind, eye and ear for the ideas and beliefs of others. Doing so might just add some know-how to your own treasure chest of life experience and knowledge!

Tolerance needs to be cultivated, because it’s not at all easy to not simply say “Bullshit” and to move on. It takes a lot more effort on your part to first listen or read something that is opposite to your beliefs and habits, or that is new and seems strange at first, and then to think about it.

By going through this process of allowing new thoughts, digesting them and then making your own mind up before simply rejecting anything new and unusual you will discover facettes of the world and of people around you that otherwise would simply bypass you.

  • When you are reading, read with an open mind. Write the questions that come to mind and that you would like to find answers, in the margins. Then take action and research, ask others, look things up on the internet.
  • When you encounter something new and unusual, try to understand what the motivation and drive behind it is and don’t just dismiss it outright.
  • Accept that others have a different opinion and the right to have it.
  • Accept that you or anybody else does not have the absolute monopole and truth about anything.

The key to tolerance is the ability to listen. This is a great audio on listening: ‘Listening: The Forgotten Skill’. Madelyn Burley-Allen shows in this audio how to improve listening skills and how to eliminate distractions and improve your concentration on what is being said; how to locate key words, phrases, and ideas while listening; how to cut through your own listening biases. In the audio you also learn how to ask constructive, non-threatening questions that will provide you with real information in the answers.

Don’t let your subconcious mind take over when it comes to listening and tolerance. You can program yourself to accept ideas and then make up your mind, rather than simply reject the unknown, unusual and new!

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Often perfection and precision are confounded. That can lead to a major problem: People who want to have everything perfect often suffer from perfection paralysis. If you are trying to be perfect, your productivity suffers. You need to be able to tolerate imperfections.

It’s OK to be precise, and in some instances it’s important, like in goal setting. But precision does not mean perfection! You should think this over once and for all and then decide for yourself that:

  • You are not perfect and never will be.
  • Everything you do is and will be somehow imperfect.

Perfection Paralysis can be stopping you from doing anything, even in cases when doing something would be much much better:

  • If it is worth doing, it’s worth doing whichever way you can.
  • Nobody prevents you to later make a correction, just don’t overdo the correction stuff.
  • It will never be absolutely perfect!
  • Use the 80 / 20 rule!

The 80 / 20 rule says: Everything can be accomplished. It’s just a question of productivity: with about 20% of your effort (input) you get about 80% of the final result (output). Every percentage point higher, say 81% of the final result, will take a disproportionate effort. For the 81% output you might have to add 3% more input, for the next point to 82% it might be an additional 5% etc. The input to achieve a higher output increases disproportionally to the result that you get.

Let’s say you have to prepare exactly 10 kgs of apples, and you should try and get these 10 kgs right. But if it’s 9 kgs 990 grams or 10 kgs 010 grams of apples does not make a big difference. People who suffer from prefectionitis will juggle apples until the scales show exactly 10 kgs 000 grams.

Now let’s look at a merchant who knows that his customer will not wait the few minutes it would take him until he has found the last few apples to make exactly 10 kgs. He will toss apples into the bowl until the scales show 10 kgs plus something, might be 10, 50, even 100 grams over. It’s OK, because it’s precise as far as the customer is concerned, he asked and will pay for 10 kgs. He applies the 80 / 20 rule and does not overdo the perfection part, but he is precise with his measurement and has minimum 10 kgs on the scales!

Apply that to your life and the everyday tasks. Don’t be sloppy, just don’t try to be perfect. You, I, and everybody else, never will be! Giving yourself and your life the freedom of not being perfect and to tolerate mistakes and imperfections will save you from a lot of hardship and you will gain time to do things you like and want.

In today’s time, everything must be finished and done nearly before it got started…. Time is money! But is that really so?

Patience can actually get you a much better quality of life! Let’s look at a few examples of how patience will increase your life quality immediately:

  • Traffic: You are sitting in the middle of a royal traffic jam. Can you personally do anything about it (other than not using your car and staying away from high traffic areas during rush hours)? Not really! So why getting impatient, angry or upset? Listen to some great music, take the time to think about something positive, give the driver next to you a great smile!
  • Lines at the cashier: Will the line move faster and people simply disappear because you think things are moving soooo slooowwww? No! So why getting impatient? Enjoy a moment of calm and observe what others do, maybe even start chatting with somebody. I’m having a lot of fun in a line and had many great conversations already.

You can spin this on and you’ll find that there are plenty of situations every day that will improve greatly and become totally stress free, once you develop the knack of stepping a few steps back, and realizing that patience is the key. Add some tolerance and allow for small deficiencies in yourself and others, and it gets truly great!

Also, if you are impatient, you tend to take the wrong decisions and come to the the wrong conclusions. It’s very easy to get frustrated or laid back when things don’t go according to plan. If the plan is to move faster than possible, then either find an other way, where there are no traffic jams, (literal ones and others) or slow down to a realisitc pace. Just because it takes a bit longer does not mean it’s impossible!