This is something I’ve been trying to work on throughout 2017: Don’t soar too high on the highs, or dive too low on the lows, of life. Life is mental! Some highs seem to take us to the edge of space, whilst some lows seem deeper than the Marianas Trench.
What we do know is that for every happy moment, we’ll likely encounter a not so happy one, and vice versa…. bad times don’t last forever, and things usually start looking up after a while.
If I roared with happiness every time something good happened and sulked every time I spat my dummy – my emotional bank account would be firmly EMPTY. All. The. Time.
Now, this doesn’t mean we should be unemotional and overly staunch (yes guys, there’s nothing wrong with a little vulnerability). Rather, we should acknowledge that good things and bad things happen in cycles and observe their outcomes with clear judgement.
When something bad happens, don’t get too upset about it- it probably won’t be permanent. Last week I got mad, about something really dumb. A car in front of me didn’t indicate. Really Paul!? Yup. I got mad over average driving. The stupid thing is I got mad partly because of the poor driving, and partly because a few months ago I got stopped for the very same thing!
The officer was very generous in just giving me a warning, rather than the respective fine, and let me go on my merry way (thank you by the way!). So, instead of learning my lesson, and focusing on being better every time I’m behind the wheel, I had a rant like a spoilt kid.
Now, you can just imagine what such a dummy spit did for my emotional bank account? Well, I certainly didn’t have the capacity to do what I normally want to do in a day. I spent the whole day stewing about this dumb indicator.
Now that I’ve recognized all of this, I know that I will react differently in the future. I know that next time I will acknowledge that I’m a little annoyed, and then I will ask myself if this situation is really worth my brainpower and emotions. What can I learn from this? Will this matter in a week from now? A month from now? A year from now? Then will get on with my day.
Being disciplined with your emotions is tough going, but if you can apply a little focus, breathe deeply, and rationalise events, you can deal with emotional storms as they blow in. Think of emotions as wind (like we don’t already know enough about the wind here in WLG)… and your focus a set of strong sails.
With these kinds of tools, we can harness those winds and make them useful. We can learn from them. Hell, we might even come to welcome the wind!