7 Words - A Personal Development System
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7 Wisdoms - Sorry

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Keywords for Sorry

The association that is made between Sorry and guilt is a major concern because it often stimulates a defensive attitude of pride, which is really quite the reverse of what is required. Faults arise—and it is indeed sometimes through a carelessness that amounts to irresponsibility or even negligence, yet blame does not repair the damage, neither does it prevent recurrence. Responsibility does. The past is past; blame pulls us back. What works is to establish who is able and willing to respond to future needs.

People are programmed to believe that to say Sorry is to take the blame, and so there is nothing left to say to capture the meaning of: ‘I regret my insensitivity and feel sympathy and remorse for any distress it may have caused’. This does appear a healthier interpretation than ‘I’m guilty and therefore a bad person’ which seems to be what underlies the reluctance many people have to say Sorry.

It is useful to distinguish between the quality of pity or compassion and the quality of remorse. It is a gentle courtesy to express sorrow on receiving the news of someone’s bereavement—we might even say ‘I’m sorry to learn of your grandfather’s death’—yet this is not remorse; it is sympathy. Perhaps what we mean might be better put: ‘I am sorrowing to hear of your loss.’ Remorse suggests a feeling of regret that arises on discovering that something we have done, or omitted to do, has resulted in the pain or inconvenience of another. In other words: a) we accept responsibility, and b) we feel regret. Without these two factors, any apparent expression of remorse will seem inappropriate or hollow, lacking sincerity.

A person who is fully self-responsible and sensitive to the feelings of others will feel remorse if their behaviour impinges painfully upon another—and will hurry to make amends. That bit is rather important—to make amends. ‘If it’s my fault, then it’s my responsibility to repair the damage’. Only then will both parties be able to release any emotional issues that have arisen and truly to forgive and forget.

In most cases—at least on a personal level—the primary requirement to relieve injury is to offer attention, so that the person quickly understands that there is recognition that they feel hurt or inconvenienced by our insensitivity. Attention is a real force; it has effect. Allowing someone the opportunity to speak of their pain, to complain and even to criticise or blame, we are helping them to release—which is nicely described as ‘letting off steam’. Often there may well additionally be a need for appropriate material compensation to a level that satisfactorily deals with the injured party’s feelings.

Perhaps we can renew our sense of what forgiveness is, and how to practise it more easily by making it a bit more everyday and ordinary—not linked to pride, blame and guilt. Something more like this: ‘I’m not attached to an image of myself as faultless, my behaviour was wrong or insensitive and I regret causing pain or inconvenience. I feel remorse and ask for forgiveness in order to release the emotional tension arising out of possible resentment’. If an experience of Sorry is true and profound, then all issues are dissolved. Forgiveness arises; the past hurts and resentments become softer and softer until we can actually forget the insult or intrusion.   .

Workbook notes

The wisdom of SORRY

Perhaps in Please we became aware of a life-vision, and now with Sorry we have a higher degree of awareness of why that vision has to be so. It’s to do with refinement. The refining process is described with the keywords of Sorry—beginning with responsibility; developing the feeling of remorse, then repairing the damage so that we can release our attachments to the past.

There are often difficulties arising in life where two motives collide, acted out by individuals or groups and sanctified as causes, creeds, political imperatives and so on. Also there is the more straightforward case where the desire of one doesn’t reconcile with the desire of another. This is so often the case that we can safely see it as the normal life condition; certainly it’s the one that wins most of our attention. We wouldn’t have much of an entertainment industry if our books and films had a story line based on harmony: Woman meets man; they build a lovely house and family together, never have any problems or disagreements and spend their time appreciating the flowers, until they simultaneously die of natural causes aged 92. As a story it rather lacks bite doesn’t it?

The collision of motivations offers us what we actually want and need out of our time on Earth. We may think we yearn for unending harmony and yet there’s no evidence for this except the myth of fairy stories that allow protagonists to live happily ever after. (After the collision has been resolved, incidentally). We want collision in order to refine identity, in order to deepen involvements, in order to come to a better knowledge of others and ourselves. Yet there is no need for collision to be seen as beyond our capacity to handle. We can grow to meet the challenges, and the proof that we have grown lies in whether we can release them.

q21 - 3 questions 

Do your friends see humility in you?
This question is really quite tricky. How do we know what our friends see? And how can a humble person easily record a very high score without seeming to lack humility? We are trying to access an ability to see things from the other viewpoint, a process called reflexive self-consciousness. Mastery of each of the 7 Words is shown by our ability not to actually have to say the words because we have embodied the state itself. To do away with the need to say Sorry requires us to show some remorse if we have caused pain and with humility, see the other person’s point of view.

Are you relatively free of guilt?
This question is also profoundly correlated with happiness. From a truly spiritual perspective, guilt is always wrong – and blame too. So whatever we do that is motivated by guilt or blame will always lead towards an unsatisfactory result. We need to avoid that behaviour, whatever the cost, and to let go of guilt – or our chances of joy are very significantly diminished.

Are you a person who can forgive and forget?
We all do what we think is right. If we think that someone is doing something wrong then it’s just because their model of the world is different to ours. It explains all the friction and resultant conflict. Forgiveness is more than excusing someone’s bad behaviour; it is much more. Forgiveness is a state of grace that enables a person to release resentment and be fully responsible for everything that they experience in life.  It heals the poison of blame and guilt.


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7 Words Concepts

7 Words can uncover a deeper understanding of exactly what’s going on, and what action it is most appropriate to take.

Management mastery using 7 Words is about the journey from No to Yes being a delightful expression of wisdom and pragmatism.
The 7 Words System is a new method of management.
Masterful management requires us to expect the unexpected and manage it masterfully.
7 Words is a fluid and a neutral framework that can uncover the underlying dynamic in any situation so that a complete appraisal is made possible and nothing is overlooked.
The way I am needs to change from being a problem to being the solution.
7 Words can uncover a deeper understanding of exactly what’s going on, and what action it is most appropriate to take.
To change your circumstances, you’ll need to change yourself.
Our recognition of what we call a problem is simply a springboard towards finding imaginative and creative solutions to express our purposes and principles.
The answer to any question is contained within the question, as long as the question is properly stated.
7 Words can unlock any situation’s hidden logic and avoid the pitfalls of omission, confusion and deceit.
There is an underlying order of 7 that informs everything.
It is a rare and powerful gift to be able to see under the surface and identify the truth of a situation. Those who can have the edge.
There are 7 interactive elements to all situations.
Errors of omission are almost certain without the awareness that 7 Words creates.
This system sets out seven fundamental life aspects, which are necessary and sufficient to describe anything that goes on.
Our civilization, our very humanity depends upon accountability.
With words people can be persuaded of anything.
Words have power.
Words, thoughts, language, beliefs and ideas are inter-connected.
How we speak, how we think and how we act are all bound up together.
Is it our purpose to deceive—or to develop a true and deeper mutual understanding?
If language is corrupted then thinking cannot be otherwise.
It is both physically and psychologically healthy for us to speak clearly and truthfully.
To move towards a more peaceful society, we need to become clearer and more straightforward in our speech and thoughts.
We mostly do not say literally what we mean.
Let the problem direct us towards the solution.
As soon as we put our hearts into it something special unfolds.
If we want changes in our circumstances, then we need to make some changes inwardly too.
What was, is no more.
The work we are engaging with has to begin with ourselves.
7 Words can be applied at any level whether this is personal, corporate or global.
The main task is not really to affirm what we want; it is to clearly define what we don’t want.
The failure to define a problem correctly is the overwhelmingly most frequent reason for not finding a solution.
It’s so important to step back and consider things as they really are.
The absence of a quality is an aspect of that quality.
What appears to be a sloppy or meaningless use of words may well be a completely correct use of words to express sloppy or meaningless ideas.
If humanity would only release guilt and blame, what a joyful day that would be!
In business only two types of significant personal activity exist—individual activity and meetings.
Whatever category a meeting falls into, in every case there are seven quite different things going on—and a truly aware manager will be able to address all of them.
A group needs clear definition to operate effectively.
Images notwithstanding—who, actually, are we?
There’s no defending a false position.
Our attitude to service is the quintessence of our identity.
Energy follows attention.
The immediate circumstances speak truly of who and what we are right now.
Focus, focus, focus!
There are only two basic attitudes of perception—trust or suspicion.
Attention has attitude.
We reap what we sow.
The best feedback is our mistakes.
What makes the world a better place are qualities like warmth, gentleness, understanding, clarity and honesty.
Let people know they are appreciated.
Giving is an aspect of abundance. It attracts abundance.
‘I’ll scratch your back even if you don’t scratch mine’.
A decision cuts.
A detailed proposal is critical to the realization of an idea.
Clear intention is stated in specific terms.
Reward imagination—it’s very precious stuff.
Let us be moved towards vast possibilities!
Mistakes can be seen as useful information inputs, rather than as opportunities to blame.
‘I choose it, therefore it is!’
We call contracts agreements but they’re not, they’re acceptances.
Agreement occurs when two parties want the same thing; no negotiation or compromise is needed.
We have to find strategies to deal with Climate Change.
By reframing the problems we can try other ways to find solutions.
We say No! whenever our birthright of uniqueness is threatened.
We have learned how to produce things without learning how to dispose of them.
Vision is an horizon of the imagination.
We really do need to wake up now; the writing is on the wall.
If we continue to do what we’ve always done, then we will continue to get what we’ve always got.
‘Do I accept this 7 Words System? If so what do I do about it?’
Are you a sheep or are you a goat?
Give up what no longer challenges you to grow.
Without changing how we think, how can we expect to get different results?
There is evidence that thinking has an effect upon matter.
Without exercise, muscles atrophy—and so does will.
The ability to read the signs of change and respond immediately is a survival requirement.

Consider This

"Every action we take, everything we do, is either a victory or defeat in the struggle to become what we want to be. "