«IT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU, BUT HOW YOU REACT TO IT THAT MATTERS». EPICTETUS
By Elena H. Ghazale / Executive Coach
How do you think your day would be if an idiot who is not good at driving nearly hit your car, forcing you to brake abruptly? You may probably insult them through your window and they may stick their middle finger up. But… what if someone was losing their car control but thanks to your fast reaction nothing bad happens and it all ends up with nothing but a scare?
During the rest of your day… would you feel the same? I’m sure you wouldn’t.
If you think about it, they can both be the same situation, simply lived from two totally different perspectives.
In the first example, both consciously or unconsciously, someone reacts with anger and looks for the culprit, and in the second example someone is more directed towards seeing and describing their experiences through love and understanding.
WHAT DOES THE PERCEPTION OF OUR EXPERIENCES DEPEND ON?
A couple of months ago, we talked about how our physiology can modify our mood in just a few seconds. Last month we saw how our emotions also depend on where we put our focus of attention on. Now, we are going to concentrate on a third factor: the words we use to describe what happens to us. When we talk about an experience, we give it one meaning or another according to the words we choose, as we did at the beginning of this article when we tried to describe the same situation in two different ways. You know what I meanw?
TURN UP THE VOLUME AND LISTEN TO YOURSELF…
What words do you use to describe what happens to you?
What other words could you use for their connotation to be lighter?
a) Instead of «I feel humiliated» we can say «I feel surprised»
b) Instead of «I feel lonely»… «I am available»
c) Instead of «I feel lost»… «I am searching»
Remember that we are not going to get the same result by saying our day is not going the way we wished, rather than saying we are having an awful day. The signals we send our brain are quite different.
Neither is it the same to say that we failed in some experience, rather than saying we learnt something new. Thomas Alva Edison never said he had failed 10.000 times before inventing the light bulb, he simply said he learnt 10.000 ways not to do it.
If you wish to have more information about this and other concepts that will help you live better, dare yourself and get a copy of «Una Cita Contigo». You can find it in almost all libraries of the island or, if you prefer, write to me directly at email@example.com