I saw a clip on You Tube recently where a Brazilian thief grabbed a woman’s mobile phone and then attempted to run across the road to escape with it, only to be immediately hit by bus. He survived the hit and was caught by the authorities. The basic suggestion from the clip and the accompanying article was that this was ‘karma’ in action. Karma is the idea that if you do good things you get good things happen in return and if you do bad stuff then bad stuff will happen to you. It is a key concept in many Asian religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. It is a principle of causality where intent and actions of an individual influence the future of that individual or what you put out is what you get back. In NLP the concept of ‘cause and effect’ is handled in a similar way. The difference really is one of emphasis in that in NLP we suggest that there is no point railing against your own misfortunes; take responsibility for your behaviours and your results in life, and if you don’t like what you are getting then do something to change it. I think that this is what the real essence of what Karma is about; an active acceptance that your life is your responsibility and if it isn’t working out the way that we want, then we are the ones that need to change it.
I’m sure there have been many times when you have seen what other people have done and you sit there hoping that the Karma Police show up and exact retribution on the miscreant straight away. And sometimes we even get disappointed when that doesn’t seem to happen. As adults we are only responsible for ourselves and everyone else is responsible for themselves. Now that certainly doesn’t mean that you have to put up with other people treating you badly, you don’t. But it’s not your job change them either. This can be more challenging if its people you love, friends or even work colleges. Even when I’m coaching clients it still isn’t my job to judge or change someone else’s behaviour. I can help in many ways to get them from where they are now to where they want to be, but it always remains their responsibility.
So whether or not the Karma Police show up, use what you don’t like in others to tell you more about how you want to behave. In the same vein if you come across people in life who have different values or different views than you do; use that experience to test out, to define, to clarify what you truly believe. The best thing that you can do for someone else is to be an example to them of how behave.
“Someone will always be looking at you as an example of how to behave. Don’t let them down.” Anonymous