How do you filter your day? Which prism or eye goggles do you view it through?
I believe the first filter we use is positive or negative. Which one you use depends on whether you’ve been conditioned to see the glass half empty or half full. The one approach you regularly use, consciously or not, will color your day no matter what circumstances you encounter.
We all know the person who can turn a windfall into a wet blanket. “Sure I’ve just won millions in the lottery but that just means my relatives will be leaning on me for handouts.” You can predict how people will respond based on their filters.
The next filter, and the most crucial one in my opinion, is the choice filter. Most people don’t recognize that they have a choice because they view their day, month, year, life through the “no choice” filter. Choice is a constant that most of us miss because our goggles are dirty.
Have you every awoken and started right in choosing a crappy day? “Oh, it’s Monday and I have to go back to that dead end job and deal with people I don’t like and not get paid what I’m worth.” All of that may be true, but if viewed through the “no choice” filter, a crappy Monday will continue to choose you.
I’m not suggesting that you view the above situation through rose colored glasses; I’m suggesting that you have made the assumption that you are stuck with no choice. What if you notice your Monday morning blues and allow them to trigger you to ask the question: “What’s possible for me?” If your first answer is “nothing,” you are dealing with your conditioning and not reality. Keep asking and keep exploring alternate choices.
Possibility questions present choices, ones you would never get to if you let your conditioned choice stay on automatic pilot.
And the last filter is reacting or responding. Once we recognize that we will always have the ability to choose, are we going to let a reaction choose us or are we going to choose a response?
Reactions are conditioned choices that will only get you what they got you the last time. Responses are choosing a choice. For example, most arguments are made up of conditioned reactions. “You’re a cotton-headed ninnymuggin.” “Oh, yea, well you’re the offspring of a no count weasel.” There is no choice in that back and forth, or most any argument. That’s why nothing gets settled.
What if you noticed that you could pick a response to a stimulus rather than going with your conditioned reaction? That would open up a lot of choices to pick from.
Responding is a filter we too often leave on the shelf, even though our reaction filter is clogged with more lint than Shaquille O’Neal’s belly button.
Bottom line: You do have a choice in filtering your day. To use this choice to your best advantage, make the choice to notice and respond.
All the best,
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