Iâ€™ve gone long enough without pursuing a challenge for myself, so I decided to construct another one for myself: Iâ€™m calling it the Pure Heart challenge, as itâ€™s designed to, well, make me â€œpure of heartâ€.
Iâ€™ve realized, over time, that I need to work on a few aspects of my personality – that is, even though I â€˜knowâ€™ what I should do, Iâ€™m not doing some important things. These flaws are, among others:
- Judging others and things negatively
- Giving sarcastic, damaging criticism, instead of providing something constructive
- Not being truly authentic; telling â€˜white liesâ€™ and hiding my true personality
- Feeling defensive and closed to prevent others from truly connecting with me
The Pure Heart Challenge is going to address those flaws by trying to make behavior opposite to them a habit.
For example, Iâ€™m going to be nonjudgmental of everything and everyone else when I can as a part of the challenge. The idea isnâ€™t to label my previous behavior bad – ironically, to do so would be to negatively judge my past behavior and thus resist any change from it – but to simply try out these new behaviors as a thought experiment. If theyâ€™re useful in living my life, as I think they will be, Iâ€™ll keep them, and if not, Iâ€™ll return to my past behavior.
I do want more from this challenge, though: I want you to join me.
Youâ€™ve probably figured out what I want to do with this challenge by now: I want to reverse my flawed behavior and impulses. More specifically, this is what Iâ€™d like to do:
- Become nonjudgmental to all situations, states of mind, and people
- When in a position to give criticism, adopt the position of a teacher rather than a critic
- Be truly authentic and open with everyone, no matter how I may be judged
- Give true gifts, every day – even if itâ€™s hard for me to do
- Live more in the now and stop concerning myself with the past or future, which I have no control over
I feel like Iâ€™ve spent enough time being judgmental and negative in specific circumstances where my impulse is triggered and I feel like I â€˜have toâ€™ give a negative response. Those situations usually are when Iâ€™m around other people, hence the objective for me to be more pure of heart; I want to become better around others, simply put. I want to be able to share the positivity I feel with other people, in â€œreal-lifeâ€ situations. Itâ€™s easy to do it digitally, since your words are the only things that communicate your emotion, but, by my own admission, I think Iâ€™m much, much too reactive and quick act impulsively in the real world. Iâ€™ve gotten into the bad habit of not sharing who I am – everything, from my â€œtrueâ€ personality and gifts to my positivity – with others, and I think thatâ€™s the most important thing I need to correct.
Thatâ€™s why the Pure Heart Challenge will push me to the next level of my development, I think – Iâ€™ve done enough self-development work on my own and have changed a large part of my personality. However, Iâ€™ve found Iâ€™m still using the same â€˜personality imprintâ€™ that Iâ€™ve always used around people in school, which means Iâ€™m acting pretty close to the same way I did years ago, before I got into self-development.
However, I donâ€™t intend on being super-serious about this challenge. Iâ€™m not going to try and force things at all, except at the beginning of the challenge, when my resistance to the new behavior will be the highest. I plan to be disciplined, but I will stay away from having an iron fist of punishment come down on me if, for example, Iâ€™m judgmental of others: I think Iâ€™m finally learning that punishment is not a very effective mechanism for learning. If I make mistakes, Iâ€™ll make mistakes, but this is just a thought experiment that I plan on continuing for a very long time. To punish myself for doing wrong would be against the principles of the challenge; namely nonjudgement and being a teacher.
Speaking of which – I donâ€™t know when Iâ€™ll be able to give the results for this challenge. My timetable for posting the results is this: when I feel like my personality has changed enough so the Pure Heart principles are automatic for me, Iâ€™ll call the challenge a success and let you know how I did.
In the meantime? The principles I outlined above are great things for you to implement too, no matter who you are. The world needs more authentic people who bring the best out of others – and being nonjudgmental and serving as an example of authenticity is precisely how you do that.
Plus, taking the challenge will be an adventure – a true test of your ability to rewrite your behavior and produce some personal growth. Anything is possible – even if youâ€™re the most negative, judgmental, and fake person in the world, you can still change by deciding to take the challenge.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Take that step, and keep those feet moving by becoming pure of heart in all situations.