Road-worker on a lollipop. The drive to work is normally such a pleasure; now this! Or, let’s take the time when you’re being hassled by one of your children for something, say at the shops. Let’s go a third. You arrive at the bank to complete a 15-minute task—you walk out an hour later, late for other appointments.
How do we effectively and appropriately deal with these common annoyances so they don’t throw us into a hissy fit at the least expected, most damaging moment?
It’s really quite as simple as finding a healthy distraction from the distraction.
The problem with most of us these days is we are so used to everything—from technology to the goods and services we use and receive—working well we don’t react positively to a three-hour delay at the airport check-in counter, or even a 30-second delay for that matter.
Can you believe that flight delays like the one above make page 3 in the newspapers and top nightly News bulletins? There are so many more-newsworthy items going begging. It’s a reflection of the instant gratification culture we have slapped in our faces every moment we’re consciously awake.
Let’s get back to the healthy distraction from the distraction. It’s enshrined in the conscious creative, problem-solution mind. When a distraction like a delay comes, we can:
ü Recognise if the eyes are no longer needed forward—we can simply turn our head to the left or right and look. Look for something to focus upon so as to positively manage the mounting frustration.
ü Juggle into another task. Task-swapping is using the flexible creative mind to switch our thinking into another realm to make use of the otherwise potentially wasted time. The key to this working is having three or four little things waiting in the wings so we have choice; we then react instinctively.
ü Consciously note the delay, annoyance or interruption and watch for our visceral responses. How does it feel? Where’s the ache or tension coming from? This in itself is most interesting as we are entering into the learning vaults of our inner person—a place we don’t often (if ever) venture into.
The key issue to be mindful of is this. If the worst things in life we’ve got to cater for are these petty interruptions, delays, inconveniences and common annoyances we don’t have it so hard. It’s not like we’re starving or oppressed or abused or perhaps grieving. Yet, we’re so apt at taking life so much for granted we forget what real trouble is actually like.
The biggest issue we have in life is managing our emotions. This is a key to becoming emotionally intelligent and spiritually mature. And it’s all about using the power of the mind to extract our potential by embracing thinking techniques that basically anyone can learn.
The real power is the control we reap over the destiny of our own lives. This destiny needs to be taken captive—it won’t simply just be given to us—we must earn it. When we claim this control over our own lives, we are finally able to enjoy the peace and joy we were designed to have.
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.