You leave your iPhone in the cab. You get (another) speeding ticket (if you get one more they'll take away your license..) They cancel your flight to LA and you're going to miss an extremely critical meeting with a prospective client you've been courting for over a year. Your expensive pet insurance refuses to pay for your dog's (very) expensive ACL surgery claiming it's a "prior condition." They give the job that had your name on it to somebody younger. Your dentist smiles and tells you that you need root canal. Great week, right?
If you're like most of us you slam your fists into the steering wheel or the closest wall and shout something like, "Okay, I'm done! I quit! That does it!!" And maybe you use a whole bunch of really bad words to make your point to anyone who's listening - an innocent passerby, a cabdriver, your dog... Or perhaps you're more like my grandmother who would say firmly but politely, "When it rains it pours." Or, 'If it's not one thing, it's another." However you describe it, it feels like the world has consciously conspired against you. And it's easy to come unstuck...
But, help is on the way. A very dear friend, mentor and "motivator" of mine, the late Larry Wilson (founder and CEO of Pecos River Learning and author of the award winning, Play to Win) had a different take. "Stuff happens," he said. “and we spend our lives responding to it. We aren't in control of what happens. But we can control how we respond to the stuff that happens." Larry would describe the diatribe above as "Self-talk." We get ourselves really worked up and the emotional, or as Larry called it, the "reptilian"part of our brain, believes it's all true and responds accordingly. Panic, stress and near hysteria takes over and we act like it's the end of the world...like it's the absolute worst thing that could possibly happen. And that reaction takes a heck of a toll on us...and the people around us. The good news is that we can change all that...with Larry's help. Here's his ludicrously simple and airtight advice to losing the panic and regaining your perspective on life...
"First," Larry tells us, "you've got to commit to believing that you actually have a choice in how you respond to the stuff that happens in life - and that the choice you make can actually make you feel healthier, happier and more optimistic - and open the door to future good stuff."
"Second," he says, "when something annoying, irritating, disappointing, unfair or even 'wrong' occurs that's not 'life and death,' not a 'tragedy," not 'the end of the world,' instead of flipping into a tailspin...repeat this ludicrously simple mantra: "IT'S INCONVENIENT!"
"It takes practice," Larry cautions us. "Try saying the mantra the next thirty times bad stuff happen - and you feel your blood boiling and your jaw clenching. It'll change your life. Hey, you can't go crazy over a mere inconvenience, right...?!" He's got a point.
So when the car gets a flat on the way to your daughter’s wedding - and your credit score takes a nose dive - what're you gonna say? No, not that.... You're gonna say, "Well, that's inconvenient!"
Gail Blanke’s Lifedesigns©2013 All Rights Reserved
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