August 5

“It is equally faulty to trust everyone and to trust no one.” – Seneca

We can all imagine how life would be if we went through it trusting everyone who wanted to give us advice, sell us something, or help us with a ‘problem.’ We’d be broke, sick, or possibly dead in fairly short order.

But it is not too different a path if we try to go through life trusting no one. We can imagine, if we try, how frustrating it would be to have to be our own experts in everything. Some of us might even know people like this. Miserable people who can’t trust anyone to do a good job.

Better still to recognize that we do not control other people’s intentions, their level of competence, or the way that things turn out. Even the most competent people with high levels of integrity experience complications while trying to accomplish tasks. What we do have control over is how well we are at determining a person’s level of competence, we get this through experience.

While we are gaining this experience, it is best to focus on our improving ability to read people. We do this by paying attention to our interpretation of people and then being honest with ourselves about whether we were right or not. This involves a fair amount of remembering and reflection but goes a long way in helping us develop the skills necessary to understand where people are coming from.

And getting better at understanding people transfers to every single aspect in our lives.

virtus fortis vocat

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