Intention: Win-Win (Compassion) or Win-Lose


By Cathy Eck



As an entrepreneur, I read lots of business books.  When I finished one, I’d go to Barnes & Noble to get another.  One night, I stopped at B&N to get my latest fix.  I noticed a book on the display that said “Win-Win” on the cover.  I didn’t buy the book or even look inside it.  But I loved the sound of those words — win-win.

I bought another book and left the store.  But I couldn’t get win-win out of my mind.  I thought, “I’m going to start living my life that way.  If something isn’t win-win, I won’t do it.”  I didn’t realize that I’d just opened a gateway to compassion…one of the most important keys to initiation.

The next day, during a restroom break at work, I was washing my hands; and I dripped soap on the sink counter.  Those soap droplets caught my attention.  I wondered if just leaving them on the sink was win-win.  After all, we had a maid.  But then the soap would stay there looking messy until the maid came.  I also sensed an attitude of superiority in me as if I was too important to clean.  That didn’t feel win-win.  How could I possibly be more important than the woman who cleaned this restroom?  It really wasn’t win-win to pass the responsibility for my mess on to the maid even if it was technically her job.

Eventually, I pulled down some paper towel and cleaned up my mess.  But I hadn’t just cleaned the counter.  I’d also cleaned something in my mind.  I realized that when I reached that win-win place of thinking over this stupid little thing, I felt a deep calmness that I’d not felt since childhood.  It was way beyond anything I’d felt with meditation.  Meditating quieted my mind; but I was letting go of my shallow false masculine perspective, which freed my mind.

Back at my desk, I picked up a sales contract.  Suddenly it didn’t look win-win.  I called the potential customer and offered to make changes in his favor.  I wasn’t playing games anymore; I treated him the way I would want to be treated.  Again, I felt that peace.

This experiment started with a physical focus — doing that which was win-win.  But it shifted into something much bigger — letting go of any thought that wasn’t win-win.  That, I’d learn, is the meaning of compassion.  Compassion is what tames the false masculine.



About ten years later, people started to write books on the power of intention.  But there was no compassion in their intention setting.  They were thinking an intention before they did something like “Send me that which is for the highest good.”  It sounded nice, but they were washing their hands of responsibility — letting the universe decide what’s good for them.  Unfortunately, the universe doesn’t act as our fair and just concierge; we get what we believe.  This allowed the person to look compassionate without being compassionate.  Compassion doesn’t happen until we let go of beliefs.  It purifies our mind when we let go of the false masculine’s judgmental win-lose, good-evil, or right-wrong thoughts.

Others set intentions like, “I intend to win this race,”  or “I intend to lose twenty pounds this month.”  They were willing the future into submission for their benefit — another talent of the false masculine.

My intention to live from win-win caused me to go deep into my mind and to question my own thinking.  I was letting go before I even understood letting go.  To really get to win-win on any subject, I had to consider everyone that might be affected by the situation — the true application of the Golden Rule.  Letting go of the false masculine beliefs and judgments transformed my false physically-oriented perspective into the true, pure mental perspective of life.  Of course, when my mind was right, top of the triangle with no opposite thoughts, my behavior followed.  I couldn’t imagine harming another.



Later, I decided to do my Ph.D. Dissertation on the initiation story of Jesus, and I used this same technique.  Unlike Christians, I didn’t want to copy Jesus’ actions; I wanted to understand, and find in myself, the mind of Jesus.  I’d take a Bible quote that didn’t make sense such as, “The meek shall inherit the earth.”  I started with the win-lose interpretations that I’d been taught:  “You have to be submissive to get to heaven.  You get rewarded for giving others what they want.”  None of the thoughts that popped into my mind felt win-win.  They didn’t produce that calmness or compassion.  So I kept dropping every belief that arose and kept digging for the truth.  You see, the truth wasn’t in some guru or in the ethers for channels to pick up; it was in my mind resting quietly below all of my false knowledge.

After letting go of many thoughts about this quote, I dropped into that now familiar place of win-win.  Jesus was talking about the mental, not the physical.  He was already in that compassionate place when he spoke.  When we let go of our beliefs and knowledge, our mind becomes meek, quiet, and pure.  We can’t imagine fighting or willing in order to get what we want.  And yet, our meek mind is extraordinarily powerful because our mind is so clear and creative.  We easily get whatever we focus our mind on — we inherit the earth.

I repeated this process for thousands of hours until I decoded the path of initiation from the story of Jesus.  He was a compassionate dude; and it wasn’t because of what he did but because of how he thought.  Then I saw it everywhere — initiation was embedded in many ancient myths and legends.  You can’t see it until you get the right perspective.  Real freedom, real peace, and real power are revealed when we exercise compassion and let go until our thinking becomes completely win-win for everyone.  That’s how we bring heaven back to earth.

6 thoughts on “Intention: Win-Win (Compassion) or Win-Lose

  1. Karen says:

    I read this Cathy, after reading your post. “There is in everyone a place beyond the preference for outcome, a place beyond a win/lose mentality and the fear that feeds on it.” Rachel Naomi Remen, MD
    Beyond the preference for outcomes is where true compassion is found. Thanks for another super post. You’re rocking this week.

  2. Mary McQueen says:

    Hi Cathy. This win/win way to look at something is so valuable. I usually think almost everyone is a moron or an asshole and the win/win thing has been helping me back off and let go of my judgements. Your story about the soap in the restroom reminds me of day when a manager in an office I worked in accidentally dropped the contents of a hole punch reservoir onto the floor. Those tiny circles are a bugger to get off industrial carpet! The manager said she would just “leave it for the janitor”. I ended up cleaning up the punched holes to spare the janitor the feelings I would have if I was a janitor–I guess i made myself the janitor by proxy.

    Then years later when I was at the head office of a global company to sign a contract, I made myself the janitor again. Here I was, the most important person in the room for the first time in my life and I made myself the janitor. A cameraman filming the contract signing had asked me to dump a big container of paper fragments onto the floor, for an artistic effect. I already knew that this particular paper would cling to the carpet, just like hole punch circles, and had brought a handy dustpan and a stiff hand broom with me to get the stubborn bits up. Why? Because i didn’t want to cause a mess for the janitor and make him remember his lowliness.

    So there I was on my hands and knees getting all the bits cleaned up after the camera stopped rolling. The president of the company asked why I was doing that and I answered that I didn’t like to leave crap for janitors, that I suspected it made them feel lowly about themselves. The prez said, “you have to get more high maintenance” and I got the feeling that he was a bit repelled by me.

    I judged the president as an asshole in that moment but I didn’t forget what he said. Later I thought does the bride clear the dishes after the meal at the reception is done? In that meeting I was like the bride, it was my special day and I caused a negative impact to myself even though I was trying to do the right thing. It wasn’t win/win.

    Thanks for another great post!

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Mary,
      Glad you liked the post. Don’t want you to get the impression it is always about being the janitor. It was about me in the at moment dropping my superiority. I was the President of the company and was always the hot shit. If someone else had superiority, I wouldn’t do it for them to save the janitor work. That would be their problem. I wasn’t doing it to be nice either. It was all about what happened in my mind as I let go of my stupid thoughts about this situation. So I definitely don’t want to promote inferiority complexes. At the time, I felt I had a superiority complex as I said.

      And this is also about being in the masculine role which is when we normally judge another. So it pushes us to let go of judgment so we get to compassion. It started out as a doing thing for me, but very much ended up now as a thinking thing. So I hope I made that clear. Love, Cathy

      • Mary McQueen says:

        Hi again! You were very clear right from the start–I think I’m the one who wasn’t clear. Your post reminded me of the incident I mentioned–and what struck me was that while your doing and thinking was win/win…mine was not. Looking forward to you next post!

        • Cathy says:

          Oh no problem Mary, I just wanted to be sure it wasn’t confusing because it is hard enough to make this journey if you aren’t confused. So I’m very particular about keeping everything clear. But I did like your story nevertheless. Love, Cathy

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