When things don’t go your way

An unexpected tie up in traffic.

Getting cut off in traffic.

Just traffic in general!

The restaurant choice you liked the least.

A rude customer service agent.

When your favourite item at the bakery is all sold out.;)

When things don’t go your way what is your automatic first response? This question was born today from an app I was using called Nugget*. Nugget gives you short quotes from non-fiction books and I use it now and again to spark an idea, to start my day with a new thought or inspire a piece of writing. You can choose a book that intrigues you from its lineup or your can press the ‘surprise me’ button.

If you know me at all, you won’t be surprised that I typically (fine, I always) hit the ‘surprise me’ button! This morning as it was ‘digging for Nuggets’ for me, the following screen popped up:

“Woops, this is awkward. Something’s wrong.
Jump twice in the air and then put on a
big smile!
It won’t help fix the problem but it’s fun!
And you can try again later.”

This quirky message did make me smile. And even though I didn’t get the quote I was hoping for, I wondered if maybe this was the quote I needed to read.

You see, what I’ve learned about myself (even if I’m not entirely proud of the fact) is that I like to have some semblance of control. I like things to go my way, and most of the time I like to be the leader and make the decisions (because my ideas are clearly better, right, sensible, more fun etc. of course – aren’t they??).

Well…sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I have control over things and sometimes I don’t. I learned this lesson years ago while on a humanitarian trip to El Salvador with my daughter Kara – it was a huge wake up call for me (if you want a laugh, cry and learn kind of read you can download my book When Enlightening Strikes – Creating a Mindset for Uncommon Success for free here.

Ah, know thy self. Wise words indeed.

Even though I know this about me, the ongoing battle is handling things that don’t go my way in a fashion that I am proud of. Flipping the negative charge over to a positive one. Not making someone else feel bad. Not letting my emotions ruin more than a minuscule amount of my day.

I imagine myself with an invisible tool belt around my waist and I believe my job as an adult learner is to keep adding tools to this tool belt. Tools that will help me be happier, healthier, more fulfilled, nicer etc.

As you can imagine studying, writing, researching personal development for the last dozen or so years has left me with quite a plumped up tool belt – but folks even I struggle with the basics now and again! Shocking isn’t it! : O

And that’s where today’s Nugget was very helpful. It made me think that doing something funny would be a great tool to add to my toolkit.

When things don’t go your way instead of complaining, pouting, being sarcastic, brooding… fill in your favourite negative response here, what if we did something funny?

What if we turned in a circle three times, what if touched our toes (or tried to!), what if we did a fake sneeze? Ok, this could be too crazy.

Or not.

What if we started with doing something funny in our minds? Like a ‘virtual funny’, maybe that would make us smile on the inside!

If we did something funny (real or virtual) surely the shear lunacy of it all would shift our mood in these situations:

  • An unexpected tie up in traffic.
  • Getting cut off in traffic.
  • Just traffic in general!
  • The restaurant choice you liked the least.
  • A rude customer service agent.
  • When your favourite item at the bakery is all sold out. (Nah, I would still be cranky there!)

    Hey, it’s not about being perfect, it’s about trying our best to get though the first world issues that drive us just a wee bit mad. It’s about trying to get through another day in this beautiful, magical, frustrating world with a smile on our face and love in our hearts.

After all, we can’t do good unless we feel good.

So today, right now in fact, even if its just in your imagination (but you know I really want you to actually do it!!)…

‘Jump twice in the air and then put on a big smile!’… it’s just one more way you can live Your Life, Unlimited!

(Click reply if you did it!)

Best, Steph 🙂

*after writing this article I did some digging of my own and discovered that the Nugget app is no longer available. Boo. I have to go jump in the air, turn in three circles and touch my toes now!

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