Judgment vs. Discernment

Life today creates constant assaults on our senses and emotions.  We are busier and have more demands than any time in history. These things can put us into fight or flight mode at any time. As founder of a company, CEO and father, I have constant stimulus assaulting my senses, tying to trigger me. I know for a fact this isn’t a good thing on many levels…

  • I don’t think as clearly when I am triggered
  • My health suffers
  • Work and life are a lot less fun

I have spent a large portion of my life learning techniques to prevent triggers so I can be calm in all situations. One of my favorite concepts to control my “triggers” is the concept of “Judgment vs. Discernment.”

Judgment is an emotional reaction to something another person does (i.e. “they are stupid, because___.”) It’s often filtered through your prior experiences. You are draining your own energy in the process of judging. You are not making yourself happier, and the person you are judging is unlikely to hear what you are saying because the emotion you are throwing out is overriding any intellectual concepts behind the emotion, triggering them in the process.

That doesn’t mean you have to accept the actions or beliefs of everyone blindly. Discernment is a logical reaction to what another person is doing (i.e. “I see what they have chosen to do, and that does not work for me because____.”) When discerning, there is no draining or angry feeling in your body. It is pure, ice-cold logic. People are more likely to be influenced and listen when you are in this state, because they do not feel attacked or judged and you’re coming from a good place.

I can’t say I don’t judge at all, but by thinking about it, or catching myself when I am doing it, I have found I am much calmer and triggered less often. In turn, I trigger others less often, meaning everyone is happier, healthier and smarter on the whole. Try it sometimes. It can make your day a little better.