I recommend twenty things that I’ve found to be very helpful in developing the inner strength and security to create 3rd Alternative solutions:
1. Beware of pride. Let go of needing always to be “right.” Your grasp on reality is always partial anyway. Allow yourself to achieve the important breakthroughs in relationships and creative solutions that will never likely be realized if you stubbornly hold on to being “right.”
2. Learn to say “I’m sorry.” Do it quickly once you realize you’ve fallen short or hurt someone. Be sincere and don’t hold back. And don’t go just half way. Apologize fully, take responsibility, and express your desire to understand.
3. Be quick to forgive perceived slights. Remember, you choose whether or not to be offended. If you feel offended, let it go.
4. Make and keep very small promises to yourself and others. Take baby steps. As you create a pattern of doing so, make and keep bigger promises. Your own integrity will become your greatest source of security and strength.
5. Spend time in nature. Go on long walks. Create space in your life every day for reflection on the synergies of the world around you.
6. Read widely—it’s one of the best ways to make mental connections and get insights that can lead to 3rd Alternatives.
7. Exercise often, each day if possible; and eat healthy food, with balance and moderation. The body is the instrument of the mind and spirit.
8. Get enough sleep, at least 7 to 8 hours daily. Science tells us that the brain grows new connections during sleep, which is why we often awake with sparkling new ideas. And you’ll find yourself so much more able to give the emotional, mental, and spiritual energy needed to create 3rd Alternatives.
9. Study inspiring or sacred literature. Ponder, meditate, or pray. Insights will come.
10. Make quiet time for yourself to think through creative 3rd Alternative solutions to your challenges.
11. Express love and appreciation to those with whom you associate. Listen empathically to them. Devote time to learning about them, what is important to them, what is their story.
12. You have two ears and one mouth: use them proportionally.
13. Practice being generous with others—with your time, your heart, your forgiveness, and your affirmation. Be wise and generous in sharing your resources with those in need. Be generous with and forgive yourself. We all have weakness. We all have strength. Look to the future and move on. All these things will cultivate within you a spirit of abundance.
14. Avoid comparing yourself to others. Just don’t. You are unique. You are of infinite worth and have great potential. Define your own exceptional mission in life. Just be true to it, be yourself, and serve others and the world simply and magnificently!
15. Be grateful. Express it.
16. Learn to become enthusiastically relentless about discovering how to create great wins for others—wins that increase their peace, their happiness, and their prosperity. It will become infectious, and you may often find others seeking the same for you. This is the key to producing remarkable synergies.
17. When things aren’t going well, take a break, take a walk around the block, get a good night’s sleep, and come back at it with the freshness and perspective of a new day.
18. If you truly can’t reach win-win, remember that “no deal” in some cases is the best alternative.
19. When it comes to other people, their reactions, their weaknesses, and peculiarities, just smile a lot. And when it comes to your teenagers, remind yourself, “This, too, shall pass.”
20. Never stop believing in the possibility of the 3rd Alternative.
By winning these Private Victories, you will find that your Public Victories will follow.