“If you would not have a person flinch when the crisis comes, train them before it comes.” – Seneca
If we think about the things that can distract us from our work, ruin our day, and make what should be an enjoyable time absolutely miserable, they all have one thing in common; we can anticipate them.
In fact, part of what makes us so miserable when these things happen is that we have anticipated them, we have set expectations, and then we have allowed ourselves to react to the outcome in one way over another.
In the way that we react to these self made disappointments – in truth, all disappointments are self made – we are clearly labeling these moments as a crisis at the time and we are choosing to anticipate them in the wrong fashion.
It would be a very valuable exercise for us to sit down and come up with two to three things that occur on a regular basis in our lives that cause us stress. This is not likely going to be a difficult exercise and most of us have already probably thought of three or four things already.
Now, instead of trying to find a way to control the other people, the situation, or even the way the stresser makes us feel, let’s look at how we can control ourselves when one of these stressful events occurs. What can we do differently that will make the event less troublesome for us? Is there a way we can make it into something that is not a big deal to us at all?
We should take two to three of those things and we should work towards implementing a plan to allow them to affect us less than we currently allow them to. In this way, we will have trained ourselves to avoid the crises that we are already creating for ourselves.
virtus fortis vocat.