I watched the most brilliant video the other day. I have watched it a few times since. Probably about half a dozen times. It’s 37 minutes long, so I needed to break it up, but I got it done, and when parts of it are repeated, it became even more powerful to me.
So here is the link for the video. I would watch it again, and I would watch it often. That is my plan.
It’s a really interesting and super simple concept, but one that most of us get so wrong. When something happens to us – we immediately react. Good or bad. Sometimes, indifferent, which could be both bad or good. And then, we have a ton of emotions about it – and then, whatever we are feeling we are thinking; and whatever we are experiencing, brings about more of what we experience.
I wanted to know if I could control my emotions better (more of the negative, unhappy reactions, versus the happy and excited ones. I was and I am good at seeing the GOOD in events that happened weeks or months or years ago – that weren’t so good at the time. But now, I can 100% understand why they happened, I can surmise the lessons from those experiences, and I know deep down in my gut, in my heart, in my soul – that they happened for a reason, and led me onto the path I am on today.
Sometimes, I like to dissect those events, and become even more grateful.
And sometimes, I like to forget about those events, because they have passed, and whatever I was to learn or to gain or to experience is over.
What I wanted to learn and what I want to continue to learn and practice is how to control my reactions, how to control my emotions! I want to be able to QUICKLY do this – and not see the GOOD in a BAD situation weeks or years after it happens, but immediately. We’re real time here people!
Let’s say for example your friend or family member says something or does something that immediately gets you upset. Boom. Whah.
It can happen in an instant, and this video nicely explains that there is a FILTER we need to access between WHAT happens and HOW we react to it. So for instance, let’s say husband says: “I went to the grocery store, but I forgot to get you what you needed.” What! It’s upsetting, company is coming, blah, how will you/I ever survive day/life without item?
Well, it’s easy – especially if you have always blown up at things like these, to react the same exact way. But what would you say, when you could PAUSE, and think about the situation a bit differently. Instead of finding the negative in it – and then spiraling out of control, or spiraling into a myriad of reasons why this missing product or ingredient is the doom to your day – think about this differently – find the good or irony or positivity in it, do it anyway.
Maybe, just maybe, it really doesn’t matter, and it’s not important.
Perhaps you can be more resourceful and do better with a substitution.
Perhaps, you can go back to store, and get exactly what you need & then some.
Perhaps, you can just move on quickly, and not give it another thought.
Perhaps you can ask a neighbor or a friend for the same.
Perhaps, you can be grateful for having said husband and moving the f on.
Or let’s say bigger, grander, more dramatic things happen. If you think of something that has happened to you, happened in the last few weeks or years or something perhaps that happens often that is upsetting – how can you put another SPIN on it, how can you put a filter on – in between, how can you turn the negative emotions you are usually feeling, and feel GOOD about it?
When we post photos to social media, you have to go through a few steps before actually posting. You have to perhaps write a caption, add a filter, double check this or that, crop, and then you can post. We don’t just go on taking a photo that instantly gets uploaded without a second look from you. (Perhaps there is some platform out there like this – but at this time I am unaware because THANKFULLY the thousands of photos we all have sitting in our phones and not on FB.)
And the strategy in this video is the same.
Stop, and think.
What type of reaction do you want to have?
What type of reaction is best for you – for right now and long term?
What type of filter would you like to use in this situation?
What type of experience would you like to have from this exact moment?
I’m pretty high on this strategy right now, and am excited to use it. It can be very frustrating to get upset. I find that for many days of each month, it’s easy to be in a solid and happy and productive mood. But then, there are days where everything is very upsetting. I no longer want to waste my life and time with getting upset only to LATER find the positive in it. Instead, I want to stop and think and react in a way that would be productive for me, in a way that would lead me to greener pastures and a better present and future.
We all know it’s normal to get upset, it’s normal to have upsetting situations happen, it’s normal to be upset at what people say or do or write or communicate – but maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s better to practice putting in a filter that doesn’t cause us to have a reaction that FURTHER hurts us/our heart/mind/soul. Maybe it’s better to acknowledge what happens, and then STOP; and keep moving on, without reacting.
In the video, Leo used the example of finding out your partner cheated on you. And this can be upsetting. Yet, this can also be very freeing (perhaps someone better is out there for you). It’s a pretty big or small event in one’s life (depending on what you compare to), but also a really great way to understand this concept of interjecting a filter, a pause, a space to CHOOSE how we want to react.
At the end of the day – our lives and futures are made up what we think about. In the waking and alert time we have here on earth and throughout each day – it’s best to be able to choose thoughts that can only CONTRIBUTE to growing our present, and future in just the most positive ways. And hence why I realized I needed to figure out how to control those reactions, how to give myself a bit of time to CHOOSE the better path!
Cheers to YOU, and may your reactions be made up of only the strongest blocks for building your best life.