Picture the last time you were at a public pool or over at a friend’s for a pool party. You were probably enjoying the sweet relief of the cool water on a hot summer day while indulging in comradery and the time spent with close friends and family. Basking in the glow and working on perfecting your farmer’s tan. Then all of a sudden, you hit an unusually warm section of water permeating from some odd child with a look of pure fear or malice on their face. You try to convince yourself that it’s just some heat-related coincidence. That maybe the water wasn’t circulating properly in that area of the pool and as a result became momentarily warmer than the surrounding areas. But you know what the sick truth is. That kid just committed one of the most unforgivable acts known to man. They knowingly polluted your oasis regardless of your personal feelings on the matter. So what do you do now? Do you rage with the intensity of Zeus? Do you unleash blind fury on this child and teach them the error in their ways? Do you let it ruin your entire afternoon, drive home still stewing on the scarring events, and lose sleep over your total and utter disgust? Or do you simply see it as a momentary hurdle and move the hell on?
After that intro, you’re probably wondering just what the heck my point is. Well my friends, as unpleasant of a metaphor as that was, this happens in your everyday life. At some point in your day, at least one person or unfortunate event will attempt to take a metaphorical leak in the pool that is your happiness or attempt to steal your joy flat out. How do I know this? Well for starters I am business coach and a run of the mill average human being so, therefore, I am not impervious to life events. I also experienced multiple scenarios this week that speaks to this very idea. Had I not learned to move on when faced with these scenarios I would still be having an incredibly crappy week. Furthermore, if I hadn’t learned how to not let people steal my joy I could have ended up risking additional happy experiences.
I know I make it sound easy, but let me provide you with a few examples of what happened to me this week and how I learned to overcome momentary obstacles in order to maintain inner peace.
I work with a handful of coaching clients on a daily basis. Each meeting has its own ups and downs. Most meetings end extremely positively and I always walk away with a sense of accomplishment and overall excitement for my clients. However, not all meetings have a happy ending (Or beginning… or middle). This week I was met with backlash from one of my favorite business coach clients. We typically have great banter and this client is also a great example of a diligent doer. But this past meeting the narrative had changed. They came in full force with a tone that was far harsher than I had ever heard from them before. A particular issue with their ads had sent them into a blind fury, and I just so happened to be the one on the receiving end. Initially, I began to hesitate and take everything to heart. For a split second, I began to shut down and allow myself to become buried by the negativity. As I sank further and further under the weight of the conversation and allowed my feelings to get in the way, I realized something important. I can either dwell on the bad or I can figure out what the hell the main concern is and fix it. Once I put my big boy pants back on I addressed their real concerns and was able to resolve their issue by the end of our call. After regaining my composure it was far easier to deal with this problem. And once the problem was resolved I was actually able to move on with the rest of my day completely stress-free.
I know it doesn’t seem like the worlds easiest task, but sometimes simply letting go of your pride and choosing to flow is what’s best for your happiness and sanity.
On the flip side, if I had taken the approach of mirroring my client’s initial behavior, things definitely would have ended much worse. Another important lesson I learned this week is the art of flowing. When you allow yourself to mix your crazy with someone else’s crazy you don’t end up a Reese’s. You are instead rewarded with an uncomfortable conversation that later results in your entire day or week being ruined. I learned how important it is to not handle everything solely through the scope of emotions. That most times rational thinking and proper planning or action are the best courses to right the ship. After all, most successful entrepreneurs don’t make split-second decisions. They allow themselves a full 24 to 72 hours to marinate on an action. Weighing out the pros and cons and considering if there will be ramifications to their decisions.
I know it doesn’t seem like the worlds easiest task, but sometimes simply letting go of your pride and choosing to flow is what’s best for your happiness and sanity. Again had I not learned to do this over the past week, this blog post would be jam-packed with obscenities and other vulgar curse words rather than lessons I learned. It’s as simple as taking a step back and asking yourself, “Is this worth ruining my day? How can I move forward while maintaining my happiness?”. Don’t overthink it. Did you make your boss angry and receive a verbal flogging as a result? That’s okay. Take a chapter out of my book and thank them for the feedback and strive to get better each and every day. Eventually, you’ll stop making them hate you. Did you walk outside to a flat tire? No worries. That’s what that weird canvas book in your glove box is for. And when all else fails, there’s always Uber. Did someone smash your car window? Thank goodness you’ve got car insurance.
While these may seem like ridiculous scenarios that I’m offering my business coach two cents on, these are actually real problems I’ve had to face. Each one provided me with a new perspective on how to respond to negative events in a positive and constructive way. This week I heard the powerful TD Jakes say “Strength comes through resistance”. To me, this means take the bad stuff and use it to fuel you. Build on these experiences instead of letting them break you down.
Also the next time someone tries to pee in my pool, you best believe I won’t let them get the chance.