Friday, December 14, 2007

It's Their Bad Day, Not Yours

I’m guessing, but on an average day each person must come in contact with at least 100 people. We are surrounded by people commuting to work, while at work, in the supermarket, and when walking the streets. Within these 100 or so people we meet, it usually only takes one to ruin our day. You get cut off in traffic, your coworker calls in sick, a shopper has more than 12 items in the express lane, or someone accidentally bumps into you. No matter what the cause, the effect is that our mood is altered for the worst.

“I was having a great day until…….” is the opening line of someone afflicted by another’s negativity. Instead of keeping the negativity to themselves, they recruit more people to join them in their misery because it is their responsibility to make others feel as bad as someone made them feel. They are a part of the cycle and feel that it is their obligation to continue its flow.

We do not have to give in to negativity when it presents itself to us; we choose to give in to negativity when it presents itself to us. One thing that is expected of us as adults, in fact it separates us from children, is that we have the ability to control our emotions. This control is granted to us through the choices we make and when we make the choice to react we then give control externally to the person we are reacting to.

The path to success lies in our ability to keep our focus on what is relevant to our success. When our focus shifts from internal to external we give up our greatest power; control. The longer we can keep our focus internal the greater chance we have of maintaining control, therefore freeing up valuable brain space to make positive choices. This is the difference between having a positive day and a negative one. By remaining present within ourselves we negate the chance of being sucked into the negativity black hole because we are so focused on what we have to do we realize that we don’t have the time to spend on someone or something that will steer us off our course to success.

Negativity stunts our ability to succeed by creating stress, anxiety, and self-doubt, while our ability to remain positive gives us the ability to stay optimistic, calm, and focused. Both states will remain with us for prolonged periods of time and affect the way we interact with others throughout our day, therefore either enhancing or prohibiting our ability to succeed.

The path to success is filled with many obstacles and is difficult enough when you are focused and in control. This is all the reason more to not let someone else’s bad day become your own.

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