Are there things in the world that frustrate you? Do people drive you crazy and make you mad? And if so, what do you do to get control back?
In many ways, the frustrations we feel when something is outside our control is what we allow. Whilst it can be a difficult thing to accept, our own response to those things that are outside our control are what we let into our lives. And the outcome can be emotionally very draining, when we focus on challenging situations when there seems to be little we can do.
That is, there might seem to be little we can do with conventional thinking, so the challenge is on to take an angle where we can get control of a situation back, which enables us to take action that we can dictate.
And feel much better too.
Take Litter and Rubbish…
I walk most mornings for half an hour in an Site of Special Scientific Interest – a protected area. It is a haven of green in a locality that is quite built up.
Some of the people who drive past have the very anti-social habit of not only throwing bits of litter out of their car windows, but actually throwing all sorts of major junk on the roadside. I’ve seen clothes, carpets and more.
Whilst I’d like to focus on the whole area of my visual attention, initially my response is to the things I can see when I’m out on my walk. Those rude, lazy and unpleasant people were, for a long time, the focus of my frustration and anger.
So I Decided to Take Control Back…
I started to pick the litter up and take it home with me.
Now, whilst this might seem a bit of a bizarre action to take – after all, it’s someone else’s rubbish – I realised that I was probably banging my head against a brick wall hoping the idiots who can’t take their rubbish home with them would suddenly change their behaviour. So, I could make myself happier by doing something about it that I did have control over.
8 bags of rubbish later (I had another go after the 5 above!), the area is looking a lot better and not only can I enjoy my walk a lot more, I have a sense of achievement too.
It took me 4 morning walks to create an environment I was much happier with. After a winter of accumulated rubbish left by others, it’s a much tidier and pleasant place for all.
I might have to pick up a bag or two every month as the summer goes on, but you know, I’m rather looking forward to bringing an out-of-my-hands unpleasant situation, to within my own inner ‘Circle of Influence‘.
Are there any areas of your work or home life where changing perspectives and giving YOU control would make you feel much better?