This quote smacked me right between the eyes when I read it.
“We judge others by their actions, be we judge ourselves by our intentions.”
It’s a spin-off from a Steven Covey quote: “We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behaviour.”
Here’s why it caught my attention.
When we observe other people, we only see their actions and behaviours. We make assumptions about their intentions.
Our judgments, good or bad, about another person’s actions and behaviours are made from limited information.
Flip it around.
Before you take action, you know your intention. You have the internal context behind your actions and behaviours.
But other people observing you don’t. They make assumptions about the intentions behind your actions and behaviours.
How often do your actions and behaviours not represent your intentions?
For example, my intention was to do the dishes before my wife came home from work.
But I got caught up in answering an important email.
I had good intentions, but what my wife sees is no action, which could easily lead her to conclude, lazy git, I can’t believe he left these dishes here for me to do.
Don’t be so quick to judge another person’s actions and behaviours without knowing their intention. And don’t forget to consider if your actions and behaviours are congruent with your intentions.0