Emotional vs. Logical
Even as the world around us becomes unpredictable and even, [as in last week’s events in France] volatile, we still have the power to always maintain our self-control. This reaches far beyond our personal life and overlaps our business life as well. First, however, we have to recognize that we are emotional beings- responding often in a knee-jerk fashion to our surroundings. As with everything, identifying where our responses come from is step one.
And, we have to recognize, that in the scheme of things, our daily “struggles” are minor compared to what the victims and their families have faced in France this week. The good news is, this is a place where you can literally ‘turn on a dime’ and reclaim your power instantly; gain perspective, change course which will then change the outcomes in your life.
Action vs. Re-action
In the grand scheme of things, you have to know when to let the “small stuff” go; to know when there is cause for a response …and when the Universe will take care of this for you with time. One of my strategies for this has been to give the ‘event’ [or my response to it] 24 hours to settle down. Then, in a clear and logical way I can approach it with the appropriate action, or, in some case, no action at all.
The main thing is- people will remember HOW you handled something, more than the ‘thing’ itself. Certainly, you always want to leave a good impression and show a high level of character- something which seems to be going out of style. Taking the right action at the right moment takes the skill of knowing yourself, knowing your audience and knowing your over-arching goals.
The Four-Way Test
One way to discern what is the appropriate action in the moment is to use the test the Rotarians have adopted from the beginning: four questions to narrow down the right action/ response to almost any situation.
1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
My personal view is that it’s better to under-respond than to over-react. You can always come back later and let your views be known…but is impossible to take words back said in the heat of the moment.
Like a drop in a pool of water, learning self- control is an invaluable tool that has the power to –not only bring you unlimited prosperity- but also to the people around you, and potentially, the world.