Image by Luidmila
Kot from Pixabay
112 How to succeed by being nice
If you’re happy and you know it,
Then your face will surely show it!
Please join me in doing
my civic duty to be happy! That is what uplifts you. One
happiness practice is to be aware of the beautiful world you are
creating around yourself. We went over that in the last article.
Let’s relax a bit and reflect on that.
Many courses teach that
you do not control what happens to you, but you completely
control what you make of it. We don't all have the same input
mix. I admit that some people are faced with problems that would
crush me. At the same time, I see these people succeeding with
their load as I succeed with mine. Something is in balance when
my load fits my talent. I wouldn't accomplish so much on
somebody else’s task as I do on mine.
In a very casual vernacular, some of my
readers are going to say that I have flipped my lid. Think of it
though. Would you really want to change places with me? Those of
you who are stronger than I would be taking a huge cut in output.
Those who are less adventurous than I would be terrified. Where
we realistically feel that there is a grave mismatch, we do all
in our power to change the situation into one that we can handle.
That is the basis of invention, which is a good result.
We tend to imagine outcomes that are
worse than the ones that actually happen. We may long for
something unrealistic, but at the end when we have survived, we
have the sense of accomplishment that appropriately rewards the
challenge. Above all happiness is not something that is forced
upon us. We achieve it by expanding into our opportunities and
improving our circumstances. That always takes time, and
satisfaction is realizing the fit between the challenge and our
The political winds that blow us from one
social experiment to another are external circumstances. However
those winds blow, I am deluged with complaints instead of
inspired with possibilities. Sadly, those who feel the hurt of
shattered expectations are tempted to spread that hurt to
everybody else. By sharing their anger and self-pity, they are
certainly not improving the world or their happiness. Does anybody think that being a sore loser wins friends? Does it bring rewards? Does it persuade anybody to do better?
Others with the strength to deny
themselves shift their energy to improving the world that exists
instead of the one they wanted. The improving they do, not the attention they are
given, is the foundation of their happiness. Because there
has just been an election in my country, I will spare the reader
footnotes to prior articles. I will not gloat in “I told you so.”
Instead, I lift up all my readers with the encouragement that
happiness comes from within. The strength we radiate will attract, not compel,
the better social order we seek. Our examples must persuade
others that we are happy. A positive grasp on
reality goes a long way toward uplifting others.
Nothing has happened that
cannot be healed by being nice. We will go forward in
Now that I have expressed
the emotion, I can proceed with the pedantic part I had
originally planned for this article. I am trying to persuade
people to persuade others by being nice. That won’t dramatically
convert anyone, but it will make the country a happier place. We
are all ready for that!
What is persuasion
Aesop’s fable has the
north wind failing to remove a traveler’s coat by blowing it off
him. Instead, the sun warms the air so that the traveler
voluntarily removes the coat. The moral is usually stated as
“persuasion is better than force.” In the fable, the
presumed communication occurs between the wind and the sun when
they establish the rivalry. The traveler remains a neutral third
party to be acted upon.
I suggest a different
view of what constitutes persuasion. The Aesop fable
identifies a specific goal and does not focus on transactions
leading to it. There are actions performed on the traveler but
there is no discussion with him. In contrast, I speak here of
persuasion as an interaction between affected parties. I further
assume some area of difference between the parties. We don't
speak of persuading somebody whose thought is already identical
to our own.
These are my elements of persuasion:
first, at least two parties; second, a difference between the
parties; and third, an issue to be resolved. If there is no
intended outcome there is no purpose to use persuasion. We
usually refer to the use of persuasion (in reaching a conclusion)
as negotiation. A mutually beneficial result is the reward that
motivates using the tool we call persuasion.
Why we persuade
Persuasion is less costly than warfare.
Reasonably parallel efforts pull a heavier load than working at
cross purposes. Energy spent resisting, working against, is
energy lost from pulling the load. Results are created mentally
before physically. The mental planning stage is the place for
setting the course and making decisions. Hypothetical
propositions are cheaper to evaluate than full-size enactments or
prototypes. Before we commit totally, lets agree on what we are
committing to do.
I grew up by the Columbia River. Local
lore pointed to competing railroad tracks built along both sides
of the river. Perhaps that served some of the local stops, but
considering the length of the river, it amounted to some
unnecessary duplication. Persuasion in advance could have reached
a more efficient construction.
Persuasion succeeds to establish a good
feeling: (a) reach a practical (business) result; (b) enhance a
friendship; (c) directly teach a principle for future
How we persuade
Every alternative should be made to
appear attractive. Weighing benefits is an important part of
persuasion and is more humane than browbeating one side into
submission. Successful methodology aims at voluntary cooperation
toward a goal. The reward might be physical, a better product to
be sold. It might be social, if you succeed, you get the job.
Analytical choice / motivation
People have different
values. The persuasion step is the time to compare motivations.
Marketing recognizes this principle: you can’t sell the product
if you can’t sell the why. Test marketing has its place.
Sometimes both alternatives are developed to let the public, the
market, make the selection. That apparent duplication of effort
is related to persuasion, which affects the rules of fair
competition and participation. If the contestants have no
association (private or governmental) in common, lack of
persuasion cripples effort and confuses results.
We hope that decisions
will be made fairly so that all parties benefit, and are all
Article 91 deals with
fitting parties together using the term navigation. Persuasion is
a possible goal in an Ernstraud Encounter, which goes
much deeper than our usual connotation of words like navigation,
negotiation, and persuasion.
The persuasion section of
this article is only one application of the overarching
theme, only one aspect of our happiness journey as we bless
all lives. The bigger principle is something internal and
voluntary, something that cannot be legislated. It is that we
improve everything worthwhile by being nice.
Being For Others Blog copyright © 2021 Kent Busse
Have you shared this with someone?