We've all heard the golden rule:
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
What if we treated ourselves with the same respect?
I propose the aluminum rule:
"Treat yourself the way you would like to treat others."
Before we can reliably share our best selves with the world, we must first learn to treat our own selves better than anyone.
We can't be great managers until we learn how to effectively manage ourselves.
We can't offer honest feedback to others until we know how to be honest with ourselves.
We can't offer true empathy until we practice empathy with ourselves.
We can't truly give others the benefit of the doubt, until we give it to ourselves.
And we can't earn the respect of others, until we first respect ourselves.
Who do you want to be? How do you want to be toward others?
Whatever the answer is, make it a daily practice to treat yourself that way first,and you'll find that it will become second nature to take the simple and logical next step of extending those habits outward.
P.S. Why aluminum? It's obtainable, reflective, easy to overlook, and incredibly useful - just like the practice of looking inward.
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I write about deliberate living, learning, and doing good work.