I think I’m a pretty positive person, but turns out, I spend a lot of my day disagreeing with things.
- I don’t like how my body feels in the morning.
- Why are my kids not up and dressed yet?
- Why can’t I find that blender part?
- Why are people talking so loud?
- Why does my boss have to correct me?
- Why do I have to get so many emails?
- Why does my husband keep coming up with new ideas for the summer?
Geez, it’s exhausting. It’s like I am in a fight with what’s happening. I feel like the guy who yells at the screen during a football game. How much good is all that yelling doing? Not much, true. But then again, it kind of feels like team spirit.
I think I have the same idea about my own life. I am cheering from the sidelines, but I am also critiquing and yelling all day long about how I and the other players are “playing the game.” It would be super amusing if there really were a loudspeaker on all these thoughts. I bet that would shut them up.
Since that’s not so realistic, I’ve been trying a different approach. I just started to agree with however it is. Even with things that I deemed truly bad, like inequality and global degradation. I started by agreeing: This is how it is and there is a reason for how it is. Thinking I should probably understand the reasons before I got myself all distracted or worked up.
This new policy feels a lot better and has started to cause a positive impact for the people around me as well. I’m wondering if it has universal implications. Maybe you’ll try it, too. Here are some examples from my annoyed list above and how I flipped my thinking about them.
1) Noisy neighbors. Those people talking loudly are my co-workers and they are talking about how to improve business and improve the world. It’s all good and doesn’t stop me from meditating; I just turned my music up and carried on. Since I have to share this planet with lots of other humans, I might want to start my day by agreeing with them.
2) Criticism from my boss. Thank goodness I have a boss who is willing to get past my ego and actually develop me to be better than I am already. This gives me a better chance for success, money, happiness and power. I agree with all of that! Those are good things and they don’t come without correcting along the way. For heaven’s sake, I show my staff and clients things they could do differently all the time and it’s what they look to me for!
3) Too many emails. The emails are coming in because of the awesome Elle Magazine article about Handel. Umm, yay. This is all good news. I sucked it up fast.
4) Annoying new ideas from my husband. My husband comes up with new ideas for the summer because he is creative, adorable and loves and cares about his family. I agree to all of this! I benefit greatly from these qualities of his, even though sometimes they are not expressed in the exact fashion I might like. We scheduled a meeting to discuss summer plans. I saved all his emails and he agreed not to send anymore until we talk.
This new policy of agreeing is going very well. I am sure I’ll get stuck along the way and need to pull in some bigger-gun coaching concepts (like having difficult conversations, purge and talk back, etc.) but for now this is my overarching practice. Care to join me?
List out all the disagreeing you’ve already done today and then flip each one as I did above. Share at least one with the group so we can all be inspired by each other.
P.S.- I am kicking off a new weekly teleseminar subscription series: Wake Up Your Week, begins Monday, Apr 2. Come join me and learn to play “the game” AND cheer from the sidelines- what fun!