Posts tagged ‘Response’

May 11, 2012

Choose Well!

Today, I experienced a situation that was a prime example of how choosing your response to a given situation can effect how you feel about a given situation.

This morning, I went surfing with a friend of mine at La Jolla Shores. This surfing spot is characteristically crowded and frequently has surfers of a wide range of abilities. In general, if you get up set if there is someone “in the way” every time you paddle for a wave, you will most likely have a very frustrating surf session. If you surf within your ability and are aware of where everyone is in the lineup, you will more likely enjoy yourself.

For those unfamiliar with surfing, each wave has a “peak” where the wave starts to break. A surfer can choose to surf on the right, or on the left of the peak. On one of the waves that I was planning on paddling into, I clearly pointed right indicating that I was going right and I angled my board to the right so it was clear where I was going. As I stood up on the wave, a surfer who was to my right angrily shouted, “where are you going”? At this point I could choose to respond to this person by explaining to them that I had clearly communicated my intention and that it was all surfer’s responsibility to look both ways down a wave before taking off. The option that I choose was to let it go and keep surfing. Later in my surf sessions, a surfer with less experience got in my way on the inside of the wave causing me to cut out early. This surfer apologized for getting in the way. At this point, I could have chosen to angrily shout, “What are you doing?” Instead I choose to say, “no worries, it is all good” and we chatted for a while about the characteristics of the surf spot.

At the end of the session I felt great. I caught waves consistently. The water was warm and the surf was fairly consistent. By remembering to respond to others with forgiveness and understanding, I was able to remain in a calm, positive emotional space. However, there is an alternative reality of what could have happened. If I had initially chosen to respond to the angry surfer with anger, we would have had an angry exchange in the lineup. We would have both likely “bummed out” the surfers around us and the entire experience would have been defined by that anger. I would currently be writing a story about how inconsiderate other people can by and I would likely frame my role as either the “victim” or “hero”.

Choosing our reactions to situation can be one of the most important things that we control. How we choose to respond can significantly influence the others around us.

Choose well!

Photo Credit: http://www.everyspot.com

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April 20, 2012

Get Back on The Horse!

On Day 18 of the “Habit Change Challenge”, life got in the way. I decided to stay up late playing “Ping Pong” with a couple of friends. When I got home, my youngest child kept me awake the remainder of the night and early morning since he had difficulty sleeping. I chose to sleep next to him so he would feel more comfortable and sleep better. Since I did not get much sleep, most of the night, I decided to sleep in to 7 AM. Therefore, I did not exercise or meditate in the morning. In the evening, my wife and I had a birthday party to go to after work. When we got home, I feel asleep with my youngest when I put him to sleep. So, I on this day I strayed from the habits of logging my gratitude, successes, meditating and exercising.

I almost made it! I hope that if you took up this challenge that you are still going. If this is a competition, I hope that you beat me.

I am not a victim of certain circumstances. I made decisions about life priorities that allowed my new habits to fall into the background. I chose to spend time with people that I do not see as much and I had a lot of fun doing so. I had a great time playing games with my friends and going to an adult birthday party without my kids. I choose to prioritize sleep over my target habits. The sleep that I got felt good! I do not feel badly about the choices that I made these last few days.

I am “jumping back on the horse”. I am not giving up on my new habits. I am starting over with the resolve of going another 21 days of being consistent exercising, meditating, listening or reading affirmations and logging my successes & gratitude. I have made progress and I choose to reflect on my “setback” as “feedback” instead of “failure”.

From this setback, I had a few thoughts about “falling off the horse”:

  • 1)   Get back on the habit as soon as possible!
  • 2)   Look at the larger goal of what you want to change
  • 3)   View the break of habit as a “blip on the screen” and start over
  • 4)   Commit to the new habit “one day at a time”
  • 5)   Avoid letting the exception become the rule! If you break a rule once, do not think that it is OK to do it again since you are already “off track”.
  • 6)   Focus on how awesome it feels to keep moving forward towards you goals instead of any possible shame of making a “mistake”
  • 7)   Analyze what happened that lead to you getting off track and use that feedback to get back on track
  • 8)   Forgive yourself!

Remember, the ultimate goal is to appreciate all the good that is a part of your life and make choices that bring more opportunities to appreciate what you have. Have fun with your own adventure!

-Andrew

 

March 24, 2012

Events + Response = Outcome

One of the most influential equations that I have learned in my life has been:
E + R = O
For this equation;

  • E = Events
  • R = Your chosen response to an Event
  • O = The overall outcome

In the model, the “Event” is neutral. It is not “good” or “bad”, it is just a life circumstance. It is our Response to an event that will shape how we label or perceive the event in our minds. How we choose to Respond to an event directly effects the overall outcome.

For example, imagine you are a school-aged kid being called a name by one of your classmates. You choose to respond by calling the other kid a worse name. The outcome is that the other kid hits you.

Imagine this scenario with a different response. You are a school-aged kid being called a name by one of your classmates. You ignore the other kid and move to the other side of the playground to be with a group of your friends. The outcome is that you have moved on with your day without conflict.

Let us look at this equation from an “Influence versus Control” perspective

  • E = Events – These are things that you typically can’t control. You may be able to influence factors leading up to events, but the event would have happened without you. Life events can be the small events such as being cut off in traffic or misplacing your house keys to major life events such as your house burning down or losing a family member.
  • R = Response – This is where you have some control. You can choose your response. When a life event happens, you can remember that there are multiple ways to respond to any situation and you can practice taking the time needed to evaluate your response. Since your response has a strong influence on the outcome, it is important to take personal responsibility for your responses to all life events.
  • O = Outcomes- This is an areas where we have influence. If we react “positively” to a situation, we are more likely to experience a “positive” outcome.

The next time “life happens”, do your best to take the time to evaluate your response and observe how the outcome unfolds.

March 16, 2012

The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements is an great book by Don Miguel Ruiz.

If you have not read it yet, I strongly recommend it. These four agreements and really help you reflect on how you are choosing to engage with others and react to life events.

Below are quotes from “The Four Agreements”

  Be Impeccable with Your Word

Words are important. Words have power to create positive or negative messages. The truth is the most important part of being impeccable with your word. Nurture the seeds of truth, empowerment, kindness and discretion with your Word.

Don’t Take Anything Personally

Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.  To take things personally means you make the assumption that everything is about “me.” If someone gives you an opinion, it is they who are dealing with the feelings, beliefs or opinions.  If you take it personally, you take on the message, and make it yours.  You set yourself up to suffer for nothing.  You are personally and ethically responsible for your own actions and words, and no one else’s.

Don’t Make Assumptions

The problem with making assumptions is that you believe they are the truth.  All the sadness and drama you have experienced was rooted in making assumptions, and then taking them personally.  You assume that others think, feel, judge and abuse the way you do.  We make assumptions about ourselves. The way to keep from making assumptions is to ask questions.  Make sure communication is clear.  Have the courage to ask questions, including of yourself.

Always do Your Best
Everything is alive and changing all the time, so your best will sometimes be high quality, and other times it will not be as good. No more and no less than your best. If you always do your best there is no way you can judge yourself.  Your best does not overdo, because you deplete your body and go against yourself. If you take action because you have to, then you cannot do your best. Action is about living fully.  Inaction is the way that we deny life.  Live your life, and always do your best.

March 13, 2012

The Complaints of Others

Yes, I would like a complaint free world. As I stated yesterday, I am still working on that complaint free me. We did conclude with the realization that only we can control our own habit of complaining. The “Complaint Free World” approach of moving a wrist band from one wrist to another is a great form of personal accountability to shape our own behavior.

What about the complaints of others? Since we can not control other people’s habits, we can only control our own responses. It is helpful to remember that we have different options when other people complain so we don’t fall into the socially accepted pattern of complaining ourselves.

The first thing that we should consider when a friend or colleague starts to complain to us is that person’s possible motivation to complain. Do they want to complain for the sake of complaining? Are they complaining because they are in a challenging situation and are seeking emotional validation? Are they complaining about a situation in the hopes that someone has a possible solution? The second thing we should consider is how close the relationship is of the “complainer” to ourselves. For example, if a stranger in front of us in a line starts complaining about how frustrating the wait is, we should not feel compelled to join the chorus of “this line is a pain”.

For the “constant complainer” that we know, it would be appropriate to acknowledge their concerns as well as setting boundaries.

“I hear your concern about the new procedures. I now need to finish my project before my deadline”.

For someone complaining about a life situation where they have no control and appear to desire some emotional validation, it would be appropriate to demonstrate compassion and understanding about their feelings. You are not obligated to complain yourself.

“I can understand how tough it is. I can only imagine how your are feeling right now. That seems to be a really challenging situation”.

One of my personal challenges is that I sometimes do now intuitively know the difference when someone is complaining about something just to vent and feel heard or if that person is seeking advice or assistance. For these situations it is beneficial to listen intently to the person’s concerns. When if feels appropriate, you could ask if the other person needs assistance in this matter.

I would appreciate any comments on how you choose to respond to the complaints of others.

Thanks for stopping by and reading!

February 2, 2012

Summary of Main Points

 

In this blog, we have reviewed some Psychological concepts important to the discussion of what we can personally control and what factors we can only influence.

 

In “The First Step” we discussed that you will experience more success in attaining your live goals if you take full responsibility for where you are in your life. This concept is supported by research in Intrinsic Locus of Control that people who feel that the have the ability to control their lives tend to be happier.

 

When discussing locus of control, we also stated that there are some elements of life that we cannot control such as the economy or weather and for these factors we should adopt an external locus of control. Although there are elements of life that we cannot control, we are in control on how we choose to respond to these situations. In the blog post E+R=O we discussed that our chosen response to a given situation has a direct impact on the overall outcome.

 

If “The First Step” is accepting full responsibility for your life, the second step should be “Find your Passion”. The research suggests that for situations that require problem solving and creativity, people do better when they are intrinsically motivated.

 

If we have identified some life goals that are challenging for us, we may benefit from extrinsic rewards to help get us motivated.

 

Once we have reflected on our passions and considered what activities help us “go with the flow”, it is beneficial to reflect on our belief systems. In the blog post “Icebergs Ahead” we discussed that many of our beliefs are unconscious, yet still have a significant impact on our internal dialogue. In “Identity” we discussed that what we typically think of as ourselves is the voice in our head. Once we realize that a “me is a story I tell myself”, we can start to evaluate which recurring thoughts are serving us and which thoughts bring us down. In Judgment – Part 2 we discussed that there is a difference between the processes of evaluation (“does this serve my interests”) versus devaluation (finding something or someone to be “inferior” to us). In reviewing our beliefs, it is valuable to evaluate if a belief serves us and to “root out” beliefs that devalue our selves or the humanity of others.  Similarly, in “Appreciation” we discussed that it is helpful to review our beliefs to see if we are appreciating the world around us as well as our own value.

 

In future blogs, we will be exploring emotions in more depth and considerations for turning around our emotional perspective.

 

For the topic of actions, we reviewed how to set goals.

 

In future blogs, we will explore some pragmatic action plans in the areas of weight loss as well as finances.

 

So far, this blog has been posted daily. To ensure quality of writing and to tackle topics in greater detail, I have decided to start posting weekly. If you prefer the daily posts please let me know.

 

If you have any feedback about the content so far, please feel free to contact me at otbikesurf@yahoo.com

 

Thank you for your time and attention!

 

Andrew Gilbert

January 17, 2012

Choose Your Response – Football Playoffs

 

I have found that watching NFL football playoffs can be a great lesson on attachment and chosen response.

 

When most people watch football during the regular season, they typically have a home team that they care about. For example, I live in San Diego so it would make sense that I would be invested in the San Diego Chargers. It would also follow that I would root against the Oakland Raiders since they are considered the archrivals of the Chargers. During the regular seasons, we find the attachment to our home team to be normal and expected. What we do not typically think about when watching our team win or lose, that we are choosing how to respond to the game due to a chosen believe and an attachment to a desired outcome (a win for our team).

 

During the playoffs, the reason to root for a specific team becomes more tenuous. Yesterday, I watched the Green Bay Packers play the New York Giants. I typically have more fun watching a football game when I have someone to root for. I chose to root for the packers since I did an internship in Wisconsin and since Eli Manning disrespected Charger fans a few years back. It was a conscious controlled decision to root for the Green Bay Packers.

 

Once the giants started to win the game, I found myself becoming disappointed.

 

Just 2 hours earlier, I really did not care about the outcome of this football game. I had chosen to care and wrote the story of my belief of why the packers should win. I was disappointed since I chose to be attached to a specific outcome.

 

If I had chosen to root for the giants, my experience would have been quite different. I would have been excited by the “Hail Mary” touchdown completion before halftime and by each time the Giants received the ball from a Packer’s turnover.  

 

When watching sports, we have absolutely NO control over who wins or loses.

 

We can only control our response.

 

So if you feel yourself getting upset on Super Bowl Sunday, remember you can always choose to root for the other team. Or you can choose not to care, get more snacks and wait for an amusing commercial.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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