Friday, November 6, 2009

Don't take it Personally

One thing that has really made me less stressed over the years is this one thought...

Whatever it is, Don't take it personally.

You're always hearing about people getting defensive and launching counter attacks after they feel that you are targeting them. Human beings are incredibly selfish, and self-serving by nature. We don't want to give up what we think we could or should have. This is an endless battle that goes on hundreds of times a day when interacting with others. We literally made hundreds and thousands of decisions and compromise is a necessary tool in order to cope in our world.

But then, somewhere in all of these compromises, we hit our limit and feel like we are being attacked. And this is where Chuck Looooooooooses it... lol

"Here's where Cameron goes Berserk"

We all do it and we all have our breaking point.

But how to defend against this?

Our expectations are exactly that. OUR expectations. When they are not met, and others who don't value our belief system, time frame or respect it as such, we get all bent out of shape. But really, aren't we being a little too egotistical to expect such things when someone else doesn't play along to our agenda?

Because of our perceived belief that somebody is doing things to upset you, or not the way you expected them to go, isn't that conveying a selfish connotation? And as a defence mechanism, we take this personally and let it affect our mood and behaviour, almost always to a negative point.

This leads to discord, confusion, anger, resentment and a lot of other really nasty ways to feel during a day. And really, who honestly wants to waste emotion in a day like this? This is a total waste of time and emotion.

Imagine that you have 100 points of energy everyday. You start the day with the same amount as every other person in life. The minute you awake, you are greeted by a friendly face and a kiss. That's a nice thing to wake up to. Add energy with this. You've created 2 points of extra energy. Greeting by the smell of coffee that someone has made while you are sleeping and it's waiting for you. First sip of coffee- add 2 more energy points. You're now up to 104 points and feeling great. You go along your routine and create more energy. That's a great way to start a day.

As opposed to waking up and seeing the dog shit all over the floor and you are out of coffee. Minus 4 points and you are quickly behind to 96 points. By the time you are rushing to get to work, and a million idiots on the road have cut you off, you are down to 80 points of energy, and it feels like it. Trying to make that energy up at this point is exhausting. You are already in a bad mood and it will take you less to set you off at any moment.

But this is life, right?

Which sounds more like you of these 2 examples? I'm sure that we have had both days, but I'm going to think that the average person is going to have many more of the negative days than the positive ones.

Why is this?

Simple. It's because we are unconsciously expecting the world to know exactly how we like things done and when it doesn't go according to our plan, we take it personally and lose energy because our expectations are not being met.

My question is, rather than fighting this, why don't we just try to eliminate the expectation out of our belief system and not take these things personally which will cost us more energy. Clearly, the best way to avoid a punch is to not be there when it's thrown at you. -Don't get into the ring, and you won't get hit, right?

So just like training your body to run, weight-lift, or anything else that will strengthen it, why don't we do this with our brain? -Our body's most important flexing muscle. Train your brain to realize that we aren't going to take these things personally and that they aren't meant to hurt us the way we've been being hurt in the past. Obviously, the way we have been thinking isn't working so far, so let's try something new.

This may appear that you are being apathetic, as if you really don't care, but it's not true. It's a great exercise in patience, and strong will that will create more energy rather than losing it. Because who wants to continue to lose energy when you can have it?

Who wants to feel absolutely beat every night when you come home and feel like the whole world is against you? I can't imagine how some people do it.

And let's be honest, we as people aren't really nice to be around when we are in a bad mood and things aren't going our way, are we? In fact, we are pretty much to be avoided in these situations. We made poor decisions, bark at people unnecessarily and then wonder why the world is against us... In fact, I think it would be funny if we could watch ourselves on a camera when we are in a bad mood from the safe confines of our comfort zone when we are feeling good. I think we would get a real eye-opener to how pathetic we act sometimes.

So, really... you can say, Oh Chuck, that's easier said than done. It's hard to control your emotions and create energy. Well, not really. You are investing in yourself, right? You spend lots of time trying to look your best, dress yourself up nicely, and spend lots of money to do this to attract others. You sit through years of education and make sacrifices at work to advance yourself. What's the sense in doing all of this if you are miserable inside, constantly battling all day long.

Start with this thought, and I promise you that if you keep it up, you will find new energy that you never thought you had. And if you are feeling miserable after one of "those" days, try to look back and see where you let something penetrate your armour plating.

But remember, it's not always about you. -So don't take it that way. Don't take it personally, and you will feel much better about life.

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