In my lecture series recently this very question was voiced by one of the participants.
"I like to dance, so I went to this dance, and the woman I chose couldn't even dance. Worst of all she wasn't very interested in growth or personal development."
Do you ever have this type of experience? Meeting somebody who later turns out to be wrong for you or the exact opposite of what you want?
Is it a matter of bad luck?
Are you just a bad judge of character?
What is going on?
It certainly feels like you have no control over these situations and sometimes that can make you feel as if you don't really have control over your life, either.
After all, you've been married once and that didn't work out. Or maybe you're still single after a few long-term relationships.
I have good news for you.
It's not a matter of luck, and you're not really a bad judge of character. On the other hand you definitely aren't in control. As a matter of fact you don't know what you're doing.
But it is something that is easy to fix. Yes, like anything else you have to learn, it takes some paying attention, some understanding, some practice.
Doesn't everything worthwhile?
But most importantly, with study you can have, in a short time, total control over your relationships.
Let's take a minute and see what my student was doing that created the unsatisfying results he had at this dance.
First of all we looked at what was more important to him this particular evening - the dancing or the personal development. He thought for a moment and then said personal development.
What is the likelihood that he was going to meet somebody interested in personal growth at just any dance? Not much. Did he investigate groups whose members are growth-oriented, who are holding dances?
When he went up to the woman, before he asked her to dance, what might he have done first?
He might have stopped and had a short discussion about dancing - how long has she studied, which dances were her favorite, etc.? By her answers he could have judged if she was experienced or a novice. At least that way, if he still chose to ask her, he would not have been disappointed at her inability.
What are we learning by examining this scenario?
That very often we set ourselves up for failure by not being thorough regarding our needs and where and how we can satisfy them.
If this was about buying a car, you can bet a lot more research, questions, etc. would have gone into the selection process.
Which tells us what? How UN-important our happiness is to us. We are not even willing to invest a little thoughtfulness into our approach.
The other side of the coin - in all fairness to us - is that we have never been taught to approach relationships, as important as they are to our happiness - thoughtfully. We lack the skills that people bring to planning successful businesses, in the creation of great relationships.
And yet that is exactly what is needed. Skills to help sort through our repetitious patterns that get us nowhere.
A business would have long gone bankrupt if they kept repeating something that doesn't work. So why do we?
We think that merely putting ourselves in front of countless people is the answer. We make a 'crap-shoot' (throwing the dice) out of finding the right person. The truth is, if we knew what we were doing, we would have realized that we already met many people with whom we could have had great relationships.
Instead of putting all your time and energy to get yourself in front of people, take a little time and find out who you are, who men and women are, the true purpose of relationships, etc. Acquire the skills necessary to create a great relationship.