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March 15, 2020
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Thinking For Now

Being in confinement and isolation can lead to significant breakthroughs and paradigm shifts if we are to frame our situation and circumstance differently.

Right now, it is reasonable and understandable to be asking a lot of “WHY” questions…

Why is this happening?

Why can’t I leave my house?

And these questions and more importantly, the answers should be explored and understood, but only to a degree. 
 
For the most part, a ‘Why’ question can be both negative and reactive. And if we are to spend a great deal of time in a negative and reactive headspace, it will not be long before we end up down a rabbit hole that will be difficult to come back from.

Even when things are going right for us, we tend to look for the negative, to notice threats or to identify weakness. 
 
It is during a time like the present that we should work hard to find a reason to be optimistic. We create purpose through resilience, and we do this by “advantage finding”. Advantage finding comes from tuning in to what is or what could become beneficial in our world.
 
With “advantage finding” in mind, the majority of our questions and thinking needs to be truthfully positive and proactive. 
 
Remember though there is a difference between being positive and being optimistic.

Positivity can sometimes be about saying things are right when they aren’t (Na, its all good mate!) 

Optimism isn’t naivety, and it is not devoid of reality, it is about a focus that will make the future better.

The optimistic proactive questions need to take us forward from where we currently are and not hiding us from reality. But so that we can see our way ahead and while doing so, bring with an element of control, confidence, purpose and when answered a sense of achievement.
 
You need to make sure that the majority of your questions are based around “What.”

What am I going to do today to help someone else?

What can I do to better adjust to the current set of circumstance?

What learning and growth can I bring into my life today?

What can I do today to show empathy?

What will I do to make the most of the opportunity I am presented with or create opportunities for myself and others?

So a simple approach going forward…for every negative reactive ‘Why’ question pose two positive proactive ‘What’ questions!

Secondly be in tune with yourself and your emotions regularly, every day at the very least. Not only recognising your current emotional state but being proactive in identifying and then practising certain emotions. 

So here are some examples of emotion that you might practice every day:
-Love
-Triumph
Joy
-Gratitude
-Excitement
-Interest
-Pride
-Amusement
-Inspiration
-Awe
-Kindness
-Trust
-Expectation
-Appreciation

However, on the other side, you must recognise the emotion that is already in play, both positive and negative. Enhance the positive and deal with the negative, and as you do, please consider the following:

a. It will happen
Accept that you will get irritated, upset, and angry at someone or something at some point. But then make sure your response is entirely different from your reaction. Your action may be completely involuntary. However, your response is something you should always have complete control over.

b. Know your triggers
Emotional triggers are the equivalent of the dentist hitting a nerve in your tooth. These triggers are unique to each of us. Learn what your triggers are and be aware of how you then shape your response from them. 

Take the time to understand:
-The trigger
-Your reaction
-Corresponding response

It is not always about attempting to remove the trigger as sometimes this is impossible (someone says something that ticks you off) but more about creating a strategy to deal with the trigger and not let it control you.

c. Sit on it
In the circumstance, we currently find ourselves technology has overtaken the majority of our face to face interaction. Our communication is now done via video conferencing, email and text message maybe a little more for some than others.

Given that we are in such an unprecedented time and with unusual circumstances, it would be fair to say comfort levels are low and emotion is high. Therefore the chances of an emotional outburst are exponentially increased.

With this in mind, there may come reason and opportunity for you to put that emotional outburst into writing. 

Writing out how you feel is one thing, what you do with it another. Simple rule, write it out if you must also understanding that it can be quite beneficial to write out your frustration. 

However under any circumstance, and regardless of reason don’t hit send! 

Give yourself time (usually overnight) and space to regain emotional control, increase understanding, change perspective before you even contemplate hitting the old send button.
 
But if for any reason you do hit send and then regret it, take responsibility for your actions, fess up and apologise, both to the recipient and yourself. Lesson learned, move on and don’t repeat and make sure that…

The Journey Continues! 

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