Not too long ago I was so mad I could’ve spit! I really lost my cool and that actually bothered me more than the situation that got me so upset in the first place. They say real wisdom is learning from other’s mistakes so hopefully you’ll be a little wiser having read this.
While all of this was happening and curses were flying out of my mouth Jane was still on the phone. I wasn’t mildly upset, I was totally pissed off. I used to have a really bad temper and it’s gotten much better over the years but every now and then it still raises its ugly head. While it’s usually directed at myself for making some kind of mistake it’s not pretty to be around. It’s a part of me that I really, really dislike.I usually start my day with this phrase, “This is the day the Lord has made so I will be glad and rejoice in it. Today will be a good day because I will approach everything with a positive attitude and I’ll learn from every situation.” Well, my attitude wasn’t so positive there in the NAPA parking lot but I’m learning from it and, as I said in the opening, I hope you do too.Here was my big mistake – I focused on what I didn’t want to have happen which was stalling the car. I can’t remember the last time I stalled the car but as I left the house “don’t stall” was front and center on my mind. I should know better because I teach about this in sales courses.
You see, the brain doesn’t process the “don’t” in a statement but it does picture the object. For example, if I tell you, “Don’t think about elephants,” you will think about elephants, at least momentarily. Crazy as it sounds, the more you try not to think about elephants the more you usually do. To prove my point I often ask golfers in my training sessions, “What do you think when you come to a hole with water?” The typical response is, “Don’t go in the water.” When I ask what happens most of the time people laugh and acknowledge they often end up in the water. Why does that happen? Because the water is what they’re focused on even though it’s prefaced with “don’t.”So what’s a person to do? Very simple, you need to focus on what you want to happen. For me that would be easy on the golf course but unfortunately in the scenario I found myself in I was blind to my own teaching. In a way I was like the accountant who forgets to balance his check book, the investment guy who’s not saving enough for his own retirement or the doctor who “occasionally” over-eats. I failed to take my own good advice. I think a couple of good things will come from this. First, because the situation was so emotional for me I’ll probably catch myself before I make the same mistake again. The other good outcome might be you remembering my story next time you have to make a decision and your choices are “what to do” or “what to not do.” Take it from me, focus on what you want and leave it at that. Doing so might just save you a big headache and a lot of time.
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.