Where are you in your life?
- On a complicated English roundabout with 15 exits and cars whizzing around on all sides of you?
- Streaming down the motorway, very happy that there is no tailback but a little bored?
- On a country lane with hedges to the left and to the right – you feel lost because you cannot see ahead?
The situations seem very different. Yet they are not!
- Pay attention to what is happening around you
In your worry about where you are going (or boredom on the motorway), don’t ignore the traffic around you!
- Don’t rush
The best thing you can do is keep moving with the flow. If you miss the exit, keep going and “turn around when possible”.
Don’t fret that you missed the exit! I know it is annoying. But you will get where you want to be much faster if you keep going smoothly and double back when you can. Write the missed exit off to experience.
- Slowly, very slowly, plot your path ahead
Impatience is not going to get you anywhere! As you have a moment, start to imagine the road ahead. Don’t try to do it all at once because then you will take your eye off the road.
If you are able to pull over, take a deep breath and get you bearings, good. Do it. Otherwise, keep going smoothly and slowly work out where you are going and what you should be anticipating. Slowly and patiently.
How does this lesson on driving relate to what you are feeling about your career, your work, your life?
Feeling frustrated at work is not much different from feeling frustrated on the road.
- We feel agitated because getting there on time is important to us.
- We feel irritable because we feel out of control
- We feel powerless because we can’t make a solution happen right now.
Yelling at reality won’t make it behave
That is the secret – we are antsy because we can’t make a solution happen right now. Well we can’t. And yelling at reality won’t make it behave. Reality won’t here you (and if it does, it won’t like being shouted at).
Reality likes to be taken seriously and treated respectfully
So start describing reality. Leave your temper tantrum for later. No one cares – least of all reality. Just start describing reality.
- I am driving down the motorway. To my left is . . . To my right is . . .
- I am on a country lane . . . To my left is a hedge (I am driving in UK!). To my right is a lane for oncoming traffic. There is or is not a car behind me. It is so close that if I act abruptly it will bash into me (This is England! People tailgate like mad.) In front of me . .
Well you get the idea.
Bring your attention in and start describing reality
Be respectful. Reality does not like being shouted at or ignored!
But it is hard to put our agitation aside
Yes, it is so hard to put our emotions aside. They clamor for attention!
OK. So listen to them. Say to yourself, I am feeling confused/frightened/annoyed (hey, embarrassed) to be on a road where I don’t know where I am going.
Feel better for listening to yourself?
Good. And know I’ll tell you a secret. So is the guy to the left of you, the guy to the right of you, the (****) who is tailgating you.
You aren’t in this alone. We are all slightly confused. We should all start paying attention to reality.
Respectfully describe reality and it will respect you!
He or she who is able to do that wins -they get to their destination and they get there in a good mood!