I’ve mentioned, in earlier posts, how we often unnecessarily hold a belief that we are ‘victims’ in life to most everything that happens ‘to us’. So how much can you reasonably control and influence your day-to-day living? Surprisingly more than you might imagine!
First, think about what is outside your circle of influence and that which you can reasonably expect to command or control on a daily basis:
- other road-users behaviour
- the global economy
- the health of the nation
Secondly, think about that which you can control and influence:
- your responses and reactions to situations and how you feel (emotionally) about them (cognitions)
- awareness and presence of mind (mindfulness) to ‘see’ and appreciate possibilities and alternative reasons why situations and people seem to be the way they are
- leading by example, being true to yourself, and simply caring – acting in all you do for no harm
The Man Sitting on a Busy Subway Train
There is a story of a man sitting on a busy subway train in America. Another man and, what appear to be, his two young sons get on. The man sits quietly, and the kids proceed to run up and down the carriage causing mayhem! The first man thinks, Gosh! Should I say something? Those kids are going to really upset someone soon.
So, tentatively he approaches the father (who appears lost in thought) and says “Excuse me sir, I think you might want to perhaps talk to your kids before they upset someone.” “Oh, sorry”, the father says, “I hadn’t noticed – I’ve just come from the hospital where their mother has just died!”
If you really consider, no matter how absurd a situation might seem, that there may be a reason why someone has just behaved in a certain way, a way that might usually have you ‘reacting’ that left you feeling ‘less than’ – then it can be possible to enjoy a more level and balanced day!
Simply giving thought to some random possibility introduces a delay in the reaction, or defuses the ‘usual’ response, if you will!