What state are you in? Do you know how you got there? Is it where you want to be? And do you know how to change it?
To answer these questions we need to back up and rewind.
We are hit, and impacted on, by life events every day. These events are big and small. It could be the loss of a loved one, the birth of a child, finding a perfect parking space or the espresso machine being out of coffee. All these events affect our state. But there’s a process involved.
Firstly the life event is filtered by us. We all have unique filters that are a result of our life experiences. Our belief systems, our values, our attitudes, our memories and more. Once the life event has got through these filters it gets processes. We delete, distort or generalise so that we retain the experience we want and make it fit with our model of the world.
Once the life event has made it through this process it becomes an internal representation that we hold. We have interpreted the event through our filters to create this representation. We have a new baby. Babies are here to be loved and cared for. We have no coffee. I cannot function for the next 12 hours.
This representation is what determines our state. New baby. I love babies. I’m happy. No coffee. I need coffee. I’m grumpy and irritable so don’t talk to me.
The thing that most people don’t realise, or even admit when they do, is that you can choose your state. I’m not talking about synthetic happiness and there are some things that are almost universal such as joy from children or sadness from loss. But for all the life events in-between these extremes, our attitude to the event will determine out state. We have far more control that we like to admit.
I can’t get parked close to the shop. Great, I could do with a bit more exercise and a leg stretch. The machine is out of coffee. No problem, I’ve been meaning to cut back anyway. I didn’t get the promotion I went for. What do I need to develop in my skill set or experience for next time? I didn’t get the dream house I was set on. The bar is now set, let’s go find something as good or better!
It’s not about pretending to be happy when you’re not, or pretending not to be disappointed when you are. It’s about choosing the reply that will serve you best and make it easier for you to respond and go forward.
So, what’s your state? Did you choose it or did you just let it happen. If you had the power (and you do!) would you choose a different state?
Let’s make life work!