So what exactly can we do about it?
Since there are so many people going about their business and even more so that we are close to and interact with every day, I think it’s safe to say that we cannot avoid or prevent certain events from happening in our lives.
For example, it can be quite annoying when someone cuts you off while driving, and very often there’s not much we could do to prevent that event from taking place. It happens to all of us. You can’t control others and what they do, but you can control your actions. The critical part is how you react to this and any given situation that may cause you stress, worry or make your blood boil.
Jim Rohn said “You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.”
Stress is how you react to a situation or occurrence, it’s not like stress floats around airborne and we inhale it throughout the day. We can actually control how much stress we inject ourselves with, regardless of the outside sources. Jack Canfield has a great equation that he uses in his life changing book, the Success Principles, (click here to purchase) and it’s something that you can memorize to make your life a little bit easier.
E + R = O
Event + Response = Outcome
Let’s refer back to the earlier example of the driving incident to illustrate this concept:
- The Event is that someone cut you off while driving.
- You have the ability to Respond (usually in one of two ways)
- That response can change the Outcome.
1: First you can feel offended (as if they did it intentionally) and then you can beep the horn, get angry and curse, cuss or swear and even go so far as drive recklessly, putting yourself and others in harms way to try to teach them a lesson. You can then choose to let it ruin your entire day by talking about it with everyone you encounter, sharing that stress, anger or emotion.
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
2: The second and much more beneficial choice is for you to realize that we all make mistakes and choose to forgive. They didn’t do it on purpose just to spite you so there’s no reason to take it personally. When you rationalize the situation you can shrug it off without letting it get it to you. You don’t have to give away your power to choose so why let it ruin your day?
“He who angers you conquers you.”
This may not be something you can change over night, but keeping this in mind will allow you to change over time. Remain aware and in control.
There are many other scenarios that we encounter each day that test us. A child spilling a drink, someone running late or someone taking their anger out on us, the last two usually being how they choose to respond to an event in their lives. In each case I’m sure that you can see how the response you choose can have two very different outcomes.
1: You can choose to yell at the child, get aggravated at the tardy person or feel hurt and fight back when someone yells at you.
2: You can remain calm throughout each scenario and seek to understand what’s behind it. It’s not personal and in most cases it really has nothing to do with you.
One response is exhausting, draining and potentially harmful to your health and has no true benefit whatsoever. You don’t really feel better after you react in a stressed out, angry or emotional manner do you? The other option or response allows you to go about your day at peace, realizing that you control yourself and your emotions. When you accept responsibility by using the ability to respond, you become immune to outside influences.
“You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose.”
~Antione de Saint Exuper
This is your life, do not blame others for how you react to any given situation. Even if someone flat out insults you, you should realize that’s their issue and that they’re disregarding their own responsibility for how they behave.
Throughout your day, keep in mind to discern whether the event is directly related to you and choose to forgive. It’s not about you until you make it so, therefore remain calm, cool and collected.
Have an awesome day!!
Rock Star Life Coach & Sales Trainer
© Rob Liano and Rock Star Success Coaching, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rob Liano and Rock Star Success Coaching with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.