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Ian Winer


Family and Relationships

Ian Winer is an investor, philosopher, humanitarian, writer and public speaker who connects people to the truth of market places and human behavior. Ian is the author of the book, Ubiquitous Relativity: My Truth is Not the Truth. A regular contributor to CNBC, Fox Business, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Reuters, to name just a few, he is known for seeking connections through non consensus thinking and making it relatable to everyone.

Are you tired of getting angry at situations out of your control? Do you find that you are too quick to judge others? There is a daily routine that may work to assuage that anger and help get you to a place of acceptance. As the author of "Ubiquitous Relativity" I can speak to the importance of pausing on judgments to improve our connections to others.


Many great athletes prepare for games by spending hours envisioning themselves making the big play over and over again. Hockey players may imagine various scenarios on the ice or picture themselves firing a puck into the back of the net. Placekickers in the National Football League may imagine the entire process, from the snap of the football to its placement by the holder to the kick to the ball that sends it sailing through the uprights – so when the game-winning moment does occur, they feel like it has already happened. Likewise, most performers mentally rehearse the motions and lines of a play or a musical before the curtains go up on the actual show. I try to approach the situations throughout my day in the same manner. As part of a meditation each morning, I think about the previous day and recall a situation that filled me with judgment. Maybe it was when a man cut in front of me in line at the movie theater. I think of what my initial judgment was in that situation: perhaps fear, anger, jealousy, or any of the many emotions we have discussed throughout this book. I ask myself, “What did I not know when I made that judgment? When that person cut in line at the movie theater, what could have been the reason? Is it possible he was rushing to save a place for a handicapped child? Could he have been visually impaired and was rushing to get a seat near the front of the theater? Could his movie have already started?” In almost every situation, there are questions like these that I could ask myself. Although I cannot go back in time and change the judgment I made in the moment, I can think about that situation, so if it occurs again there might be a pause in my thought process. If I can recall a scenario from yesterday and reimagine it with a positive ending that pauses on judgment, then if a similar situation presents itself today, I may be ready with a better response than I had yesterday. I can certainly think of many recent encounters where I made a judgment despite knowing almost nothing about the situation. Using the example above of the man who cuts me in the line for the movies, how did I respond? Did I pause before the judgment? If not, how could I have responded differently? As part of the Perception Minute, I will take a situation like the one at the movie theater and either think about the good reaction that I had or reimagine the situation with a better reaction that I showed. Again, the goal is that the next time someone cuts in front of me in line at the movies (or another similar situation), I will have already rehearsed this event in my mind and I am prepared to respond in a less judgmental fashion. I always find driving to be one of the most stressful activities, especially in Los Angeles. So let’s look at a few different scenarios I have experienced in my car and consider how I might pause in judgment the next time I encounter them. SITUATION #1: I was driving in my car yesterday and a man cut me off without signaling. I felt fear and anger. WAS THERE A PAUSE IN JUDGMENT? No. I immediately swore at the driver and sped up to tailgate him to signal my anger. I then pulled up next to him to give him what I refer to as the “New Jersey Stare.” HOW WOULD I LIKE TO HAVE RESPONDED? I could have paused for a second and asked a few questions: Why is he in such a rush? Could he be late to an important job interview? What might be going on his universe that he felt it necessary to drive aggressively? Could he just have found out some really bad news from his wife and is speeding home to see her? Is it possible he simply did not see me? PERCEPTION MINUTE: I will imagine a scenario where a similar thing happens on the road, but I respond differently. I will be scared for my safety – but before I swear, tailgate the man, or give him a death look, I ask myself a few questions about his universe. This small daily practice can make a big difference in the way we connect to the world.

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