I think I can blow your mind in 60 seconds or less (depending on how fast you can read). Here is a quick exercise in the power of choice and how it can affect your reality.
1) Listen to a bit of the song below (the really cool part comes in at 0:38)
Relaxing, isn’t it? Or if you didn’t like that song, imagine one that you do find relaxing instead and play a couple seconds of it in your head.
2) Imagine that you are in a concentration camp and your Nazi captors are forcing you to listen to that song while you eat.
Wouldn’t it be torturous? Not only because you are being forced to listen to it, but because of who is telling you to do so?
Notice that you are still listening to the same song; only the circumstances have changed. Depending on the context, that song can product feelings of relation or just the opposite.
Now consider that this process could also go the other way if you choose for it to do so. In that concentration camp, you could choose to make that song a source of solace. While the other captives squirm and try to cover their ears, you could decide to view it in a completely different way.
(I counted those 60 seconds up until this point, but if you want more clarification, read on!)
Your experience with anything is wholly dependent on you — nothing else. The early morning traffic could be a source of frustration, or a nice way to get some extra time for yourself in the morning. The trash truck loudly waking you up 30 minutes early could anger you for the loss of sleep, or provide you with an opportunity to get something extra done this morning.
Now you may begin to say that some things beget an automatic response from you, like this annoying person or that god-awful something. Don’t be fooled! You can decide to have whatever reaction you want to even the most irritating of circumstances.
How do I choose my experience?
As with everything, practice makes perfect. The next time you find yourself reacting negatively to something:
1) Step back for a moment and take a deep breath
2) Find the good Even if it’s only a possible good, for instance missing that green light could have prevented you from getting in a car accident later down the road)
3) Move on with your day
The Big Conclusion
If you are in control of your experience (which you are!), then why would you ever choose to feel anger, frustration, annoyance, envy, etc. instead of a more positive emotion? Yes, sometimes its fun to be mad but it never gets you too far in the end 🙂
So try it out next time you feel a not-so-fun emotion coming on. Exercise some control over yourself instead of being at the whim of your environment!