Life is a great teacher. If we let it be. When we open our eyes, hearts and minds to the world of possibility. . . then we start to see some amazing stuff happen. And we all want amazing.
Remember? We've chatted about this. Don't make me go through it again. Good.
Put up yer hand if you want mediocre. See. No-one.
Amazing it is.
When we walk around with our eyes closed, our fingers in our ears and minds switched off to the possibility of ‘new’ or ‘different’ or ‘uncomfortable’. . . then we're destined for a lifetime with little fulfillment, enjoyment, fun, challenge or personal growth.
A lifetime of ‘same’. Mediocre. Blah.
A lifetime in that safe, little (boring) box.
We say we want to grow. . . but we avoid situations which will cause us to grow. We know that discomfort causes us to adapt, change, learn and improve. . . . yet we desperately seek comfort at every opportunity.
We don't look for the most effective option. . . we look for the easiest option.
I'm always amazed at what I can learn when I approach every day with the mindset of a student. Rather than saying, “why is this happening to me". . . . I will ask “what can I learn from this experience, situation, circumstance. "
I know the above statement is stereo-typical Personal Development dialogue (and I do my best to avoid it). . . . but it's also true. It actually works. When we do it.
The other day I was in my office (at the gym), which is strategically located in the quietest corner of the centre. I was sitting at my computer doing my best to be creative and inspirational with an article I was writing, when my tranquility was shattered and my ‘zone’ was invaded.
So there I was; Mr Adaptable, Mr Personal Development, Mr Student-of-Life down-loading some wisdom(!) on the keyboard when all of a sudden I hear, what sounds like, fifteen screaming kids on the other side of my door. Having the amazing self-control and focus that I do. . . I decide to ignore the noise (it is a gym after all) and continue to write.
That lasts twenty seconds.
I stand up, walk to the door, I'm about to open it. . and the noise subsides. Finally. Peace. Aaaah.
For eight seconds. They start again. I tell myself to get over it.
Pick the man who has no kids. Pick the man who needs a life-lesson.
I stand up. I've worked myself into a state. “Have those parents no control of those kids", I ask myself. “Are they deaf?" “What's wrong with them?" “How can people be inconsiderate?"
I fling open my office door and to my amazement there aren't fifteen kids and accompanying parents. . . there are two kids and two mums. And they're not on the other side of my door, they're twenty feet away. The kids, who were clearly having more fun than my grumpiness could handle were chasing each around their mum's legs. And the mums, who were way to calm and relaxed for such a stressful situation, seemed to be discussing what school their older kids were attending.
Could they not hear the noise? Did they not sense the mayhem, stress and anxiety they were creating.
So there I was; the grumpy business owner doing my best to rationalise my grumpiness at some kids having fun and a couple of mums chatting.
The only stress and anxiety was what I had created.
Stress isn't about situations; it's about us in the situation.
I had made myself stressed. I had responded badly. I had created a problem. Where there was none.
Gotta love that whole learning thing don't ya?
Lesson for the day: It's not what happens that matters, it's how we react (to what happens) that matters.
How do you react?
Craig Harper (B. Ex. Sci. ) is an Australian motivational speaker, qualified exercise scientist, author, columnist, radio presenter, and owner of one of the largest personal training centres in the world.
He can be heard weekly on Australian Radio SEN 1116 and GOLD FM and appears on Australian television on Network Ten's 9AM.
Australian Motivational Speaker - Craig Harper