Monday morning, just after 8am. Sitting at my desk, I was enjoying a delicious cup of – what else? – Dunkin’ Donuts coffee; relaxing while reading some blog posts, articles, political thought, and feeling appreciative and grateful.
Then, suddenly, while reading one commentary, I was so offended that my mood shifted. About five seconds later I knocked over my coffee cup, spilling a lot of coffee all over my desk, ruining some papers, getting under the computer keyboard and generally making a huge mess.
What to do now?
Admittedly, years ago, words would have spewed out of my mouth representing rage and anger having much more to do with me and where I was personally than with the jerk who wrote the commentary (albeit, he’d still be a jerk). 😉 And, my subsequent actions would not have been much better.
But, over the past 20 years or so I’ve worked on myself pretty steadily and consistently and believe that my response was a lot more productive. I did the following:
1. Took Responsibility for who spilled the coffee. It wasn’t the jerk; it was the klutz. 🙂 Yep, I did it, not him. I reacted to a stimulus, but it was I who reacted (not responded).
Time for a “Re-frame.”
2. Responded to the event. I saw the situation for what it was; an inconvenience but certainly not a catastrophe.
3. Cleaned up the spill. The correct action is always important.
4. Shifted to a gratitude focus as I cleaned. For example: no one died, the soaked papers weren’t that important, my keyboard wasn’t ruined, I got to re-learn a lesson about why “good feelings” serve us while “bad feelings” may elicit our spilling coffee over our desks. 🙂
My great friend, Performance Coach, Lorena Heletea and I had just exchanged a couple of direct messages on Twitter right before all this happened and when I wrote to tell her, she wrote that my “thoughts and actions are not in sync.”
That would absolutely have been a very logical conclusion based on the friendly tone of our direct messages. It was immediately after I had shifted to a negative feeling that my action become extremely aligned with my thought:
“Negative thought equals negative action.” WOW!
So, I guess there are supposed to be two main points to today’s post.
1. Positive thoughts generally result in happier and more productive actions than do negative thoughts.
2. A seemingly negative occurrence can become an excellent opportunity to remind us that we are responsible for our thoughts (and actions), to re-frame, to take positive action, and to get back to the thoughts that best serve us.
Now, back to Dunkin’ for another cup of coffee.