The other day, I was really down. I was devastated; I was disappointed, I was angry, I was sad. Name all the negative things that can bring you down, I was totally in that zone.
It started with a merely good intention suggestion but instantly back fired yours truly.
I remembered I’ve read 90/10 Principle written by Stephen Covey.
It is said that the 10% of life is made up of what happens to you and the 90% of life is decided by how you react. In other word, we have no control over the 10% yet we can determine the 90% just by our reaction.
For an instance, as what was illustrated in Stephen Covey’s book;
You were having breakfast with the family then your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your shirt. You cursed. You harshly scold your daughter. She breaks down in tears. Then, you turn to your wife critizing her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs to change and go to work. When you come back home, you find small wedge in your relationship with your wife and daughter. Why? Because of how you reacted in the morning.
a) Did the coffee cause it?
b) Did the daughter cause it?
c) Did you cause it?
The answer is ‘C’.
You have no control over what happened with the coffee. How you reacted in those 5 seconds is what caused your bad day.
Here’s what could have happened and should have happened.
Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say “It’s OK honey, you should be more careful next time”. Go upstairs and change the shirt and off to work.
Notice the different?
2 different scenarios.
Both started the same.
Both ended different.
I encountered similar scenario the other day to a dear friend whom I treat like a family member. We were supposed to meet for a school reunion gathering on that day but due to this dear friend hectic schedule on that particular day, I suggested to the dear friend just to settle the family errands so that more time spend with the family and forget about the reunion gathering. Instead of accepting the suggestion, I was harshly warned not to mention the family in any of our conversation. Deep down inside, I was hurt, sad, angry and confused at the same time so I apologized fearing that the whole incident would ruining our friendship. Seriously, the whole incident has tormented me from within.
Ironically, it is this dear friend of mine who shared with me the Stephen Covey’s 90/10 Principle.
Based on Stephen Covey’s example above, could this dear friend of mine react differently to me like probably said “It’s OK, I appreciate your suggestion and concern. I think I can manage everything by today plus you’re my family too”, I think I would have felt so much better.
What I’ve learned from this incident is that we should react properly and it will not ruin the day. You don’t have to let the negative comments affect you. A wrong reaction could result in losing a friend, being fired or getting stressed out. It only takes willpower to give ourselves permission to make the experience.
Hope you enjoy my sharing and thank you for reading. 🙂