I would like to relay another story to you. This one also drove home a great point people may have a hard time grasping emotionally. Inside this story is the secret to an amazing life. It is a difficult and uncomfortable secret, but a powerful one. If you get the lesson in this story (don’t worry we will talk about it after) then you will have what you need to begin transforming your life starting today. I warn you, that you might not be ready to read this story. Although it will provide you the potential to positively impact your life, it will require a few things on your part. These are things that people may find difficult and uncomfortable. The payoff is that if you do make the sacrifice, you will have less stress and worry. You will also have a much greater feeling of control over your life. It will require you to be brutally honest with yourself. It will require you to get rid of your excuses and your ability to blame. In their place, you will need to take on a feeling of responsibility and accountability.
Are you ready? Here we go. A man goes to visit the doctor. The doctor inquires as to the nature of his ailments. The man goes on to describe a list of issues he seems to be having in his life. The doctor listens to the seemingly unrelated issues the man is having. After he has finished explaining everything that ails him, the doctor replies, “I need to write you several prescriptions.” He proceeds to scribble on a tablet of paper, rip the sheet off, and start on the next. He does this for 5 or 6 sheets. The man assumes he will be getting 5 or 6 medicines. The man asks for his prescriptions so he can be on his way. “Oh these are not for you.” The doctor replies. The man looks confused. “This one is for your mother-in-law. This other one is for your boss. This third one is for the rude person at the coffee shop.” He continues this for each of the medicines.
This story may strike you as crazy. How is this man ever going to get better if all of the treatments go to the other people in his life? Great question. How do we ever expect our lives to change when we are blaming and waiting for everyone else to change? If we truly want our lives to change, it is us who has to do the changing. Wayne Dyer once said, “When we change the way we look at things; the things we look at change.” This could not be more true. Some of you may argue, “Why do I have to change when it is my stupid boss who treats me unfair? He is the one that has to change!” Let me ask you this, whether it is your boss, your spouse or the driver who cut you off in traffic, while you wait for them to change, how is your own life improving? How long do you think you will have to wait until they change so your life can begin improving? My guess would be somewhere between a really long time and never.
This may make the situation seem hopeless, but that could not be further from the truth! When you stop blaming others and waiting for them to change, you take back control of your life. I will give you one tool and one strategy to start using today that has helped me and will definitely help you. First the tool. I recommend the book Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. These two former Navy Seals show how they used extreme ownership to become great leaders in the world of combat. Which, I would guess, is far more intense than most of what we are going through. Pick yourself up a copy. Whether from Amazon or the public library.
Here is the strategy. This does not require you to read anything and you can begin to use it as soon as you finish reading this blog. I get this idea from Rhonda Byrne in one of her great books. I think it was The Power, but do not quote me on that. People who irritate you, vex you or cause some other unpleasantness in your life can be hard to put up with. I certainly have a few of my own. She recommends viewing them as ‘Personal Emotional Trainers’ or P.E.T.s. This gives you 2 distinct benefits. Frist, like a physical trainer, who pushes you when you feel you are on the brink of death, you know in the end you will be a stronger better person. I know after a hard workout, you do not usually feel like taking your trainer out for a cocktail. You might look at them wondering what kind of sadistic tendencies make people do that to other people. Maybe that is just me. You don’t say any of these things because you know their goal is to make you a better person. Guess what? Those annoying people you would be tempted to say something to? You just hired them as your trainers. In this case it is for your emotions and your behavior. When you may look at someone with anger or even road rage, just know they are your trainers. You don’t want to fail in front of your trainer. Not to mention, I think many of them get some sort of sick pleasure out of seeing that happen. Nope, you are going to thank them (Don’t worry you can do that part in your mind) and know they are making you an emotionally stronger and more resilient person.
I know I told you 2 benefits. I did not forget the second one. Although, that has been know to happen on occasion. Here is the best part. When you feel like your new personal emotional trainer may have pushed you a little too hard, remember the acronym – P.E.T. Just know they are your pet. When you think of a pet, is it like the cute little dog above? Maybe imagine walking that person on a lease through the park may make you feel better. Whatever works to help you take their negative behavior and let it turn you into a better person.