Mental DietMental Diet


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When John Maxwell was a kid, he would often walk with his grandfather around his grandfather’s farm. During these times together, his grandfather would notice tremendous possibilities in things that looked worthless to the ordinary eye. In Maxwell’s words, “He would see great potential in a rundown shed on a back lot; I would see kindling. He would show me a rusty, old tractor and see a machine with possibilities; I would see a piece of rust-covered junk.”

What you believe becomes what you see. What you see is always consistent with what you believe. Therefore, you don’t necessarily believe what you see rather you see what you already believe. And how you see what you see determines how you treat what you see. How you see yourself determines how you behave. In other words, you behave what you believe about yourself for you cannot consistently behave in ways which is inconsistent with the way you see yourself. How you see others determines how you treat them. And how you see yourself will determine how you see others.

When you look into the mirror what do you see? Do you see a life of infinite possibilities and potential? Or do you see a life of limitations? Do you feel that you are good enough? Or do you feel that you are not enough of anything good? Whatever you believe you will experience or see as your reality. And whatever we believe of others we tend to see in them (either real or imagined) and that determines our dealings or relationship with people that make us either to be resisted or irresistible; dispensable or indispensable.


In every human interaction at all levels of human relationships, people internally ask three critical questions and the capacity and extent to which you adequately meet these key needs will determine your level of success, the quality of your relationships, and the quality of the difference you make in life which makes you irresistible and indispensable in life.

  1. Do you care for me?
  2. Can you help me?
  3. Can I trust you?
  1. Do you care for me

If you were asked, ‘Who are the most important people in your life?” You wouldn’t think of someone who made it on Forbes’s list as the richest man or woman in the world or any other world-renowned personality who you barely know and who doesn’t even know that you exist. And it may not necessarily be someone closest to you.

However, you would immediately think of someone or the people who genuinely cared for you rather than people who are just trending or famous or just in a personal relationship with you. Genuinely caring for others makes you an irresistible force for good and a magnet for goodwill.

We are living in a culture where using people and loving things is prevalent rather than caring for or loving people and using things.


When we use people we don’t really care about them rather we care only about what they can do for us or how they can help us achieve our goals. We don’t seek their best interest but are only interested in what they can offer us – we “see” them as a means of achieving an end. And when they do not meet up with our self-serving agenda or when they are no longer “useful” in serving our selfish desires we “discard” them.

As managers or leaders we underpay, undervalue, overwork, micromanage and mismanage people under our authority. We place a high premium on projects and things and treat people as “cheap commodities”. We perpetuate this attitude in our marriages and families and our children grow up with low self-esteem and personality dysfunction.

We engage in win/lose power plays seeking to win at the expense of others rather than seeking a win/win in all our relationships with people or dealings with people. We must embrace a new mindset that people are intrinsically important and to be valued above silver or gold because people are priceless.

Until we understand that people matter above material things we become a slave to materialism and lose relevance and goodwill in the domain of life beginning from our personal relationships.

How can we genuinely care for people and at the same time adequately convey to them through the actions that we genuinely care for them? We shall unravel the answers in the next.

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