If you’re like most people, you’re thinking about recent interactions with people and what those interactions mean for the next week or two. And like most people, they are probably negative thoughts, born of negative interactions, real or perceived.
Well, that just sucks. Glad I’m not you. Ha. Joke’s on me, because I do that too. The sleights, the probes, the innocent questioning, posturing, drama filled activities that make up a normal week are numerous, and can leave the most secure of us wondering what the heck we did to offend someone.
The older I get, the more I want to figure out what to do with those interactions. I don’t want them to control my thoughts or actions. I might want to be guided by them perhaps, but not controlled by them. I might want to avoid them, or I might want to gain the skills to go through them. You can only avoid certain people for so long before there is no one left to avoid.
So there is a trick that I go back to. It’s a simple question. Ready? Here it is. Do I really want to think about this?
That’s it. Then I spend a few minutes thinking about how and why I should think about it and I answer yes or no. Yes, I think some more about why the interaction is important to my future. No, then I begin parting ways with the interaction that had control of my thoughts. They are, after all, my thoughts. They may not be good thoughts or even correct, but they are mine. So I’m responsible to deal with them. Just me.
The next trick is learning the skill of focusing on what you want to think about. I watched some kids one time swipe the hat off of one of the younger ones then they played keep away with the hat and the one that wanted it back. They had power over that child and it really was painful to watch. I stepped in and stopped it.
Same thing goes on in our minds, thoughts get in there and play keep away, creating a painful powerplay in our minds. Go ahead, step in, you’re the adult. Thank like an adult, be the adult. What are you thinking about? What do you want to think about?