“EVERY TIME WE COME HERE…”
“You want a candy from the vending machines! Now Stop It!”
I watched the drama unfold between a young father and his four or five year old son from my sideline vantage point in a leisure center lobby while waiting for my own children.
In order to facilitate the tête–à-tête, dad hunkered down to junior’s eye level, grappled the bewildered kid by the shoulders and shook him to drive his zany point home.
Think For A Minute
Judging by the strain in father’s voice and the bewildered gaze emanating from junior, today might be the fifth or sixth time on this ride and both were growing tired with the situation that DAD WAS CREATING.
After all, here is this big human talking loudly to a respectful, attentive little human who has no choice but to listen.
And the big human looks the little human directly in the eye and forcefully says: Every time we come here, you want a candy… Its hypnosis!
The kid, not yet fully trained as a dolt, reservedly agrees with the big human. (the situation already having gone too far for out loud answers to stupid statements from giants)
Inside, the kid is thinking: “YES! That’s Right! Every time we come here – I want a candy. Yes! Right!” But he says nothing because the shaking has already started again.
“Now, stop it!” mutters the big, crazy human as another loving father shoves his carbon copy son one more step up the “normal” blank stare case.
Stir The Right Pot
Rather than simply attempting to squelch his son’s desire in such a vigorous manner, the father’s attention would be better spent on refocusing it.
“Buddy, as soon as we get home you can have a cookie.” would have reprogrammed junior after the third time at the candy vending machines and before long, the kid would think of nothing except getting home when they reached the lobby.
Dad’s limited awareness agitated and prolonged a needless situation.
Simply by slightly altering the way we talk to ourselves we can greatly improve results and our level of enjoyment in life.
Try this same concept by slightly altering your focus:
- Instead of thinking – I Am SCREWED – imagine: How can I possibly get out of this? (even if you can’t get out, the attempt to save yourself will make you feel better later on, if there is a later on …)
- Rather than – I am bored – consider: what can I do?
- Replace – I don’t want to – with: I would rather.
- When someone suggests – That won’t work – reply with: what can we do that will?
- Stop thinking – So-in-so doesn’t like me – and consider: who doesn’t hate me?
This one-eighty degree spin is easy to do and every statement has an opposite. Its just a matter of being willing to think about it.
And start listening for self defeating statements from folks around you so that you can begin to recognize and understand that real suffering can be avoided simply by considering HOW we say what we mean.
Thank you, friend.