On most days, I consider myself a pretty joyful gal. There isn’t much that throws me for a loop or takes my attitude sideways. After 16 years in sales, I’ve come to realize that on any given day we all have “stuff” going on behind the scenes that impacts our ability to think clearly. It also affects our attitude towards others.My commitment to self-preservation and sanity was to make a conscious choice about my mood many years ago. I would rather own my state of mind than allow someone else’s nasty disposition to own me. It was only after some hefty emotional roller coasters that I decided to forge my own mental path and commit to a cheery disposition no matter how your day is treating you.That being said, there are days that feel as if someone has deliberately attempted to suck the joy out of my life.I was standing in line at Starbucks yesterday and was not surprised to find the line weaving across the crowded coffee shop like a snake stretched towards the sun. As I worked my way through packed tables towards the end of the line I decided to seize this “delay” and play a little catch up on email.I had been perusing through the hundreds of emails piled up over a 2 hour span when I heard an argument in front of me begin to heat up. Two ladies who had made their way to the front of the line were now arguing with both each other and the barista.As I attempted to listen in I realized the gist of the argument was this: “Tanya” was running late to meet her friend “Lisa” and being that their relationship had spanned over two decades, Lisa took it upon herself to order for both of them. Tanya, one of those “high maintenance” coffee drinkers was prone to standing at the counter for several minutes deliberating over the precise ingredients for today’s coffee choice. Lisa felt she knew her friends trouble over making a decision inside and out and was comfortable in ordering for her. She was wrong.Lisa had made a vital mistake in ordering Tanya’s “go to” hazelnut rather than the “oh so fallish” offering of a pumpkin latte. This had spiraled into a “how do you not know me” and “I thought you were my best friend” war of words between Tanya and Lisa. It also brought a barrage of accusations that were thrown at the barista for not fixing Tanya’s order fast enough. All three were now so worked up that all attention had been turned towards them.It was at this exact moment I thought…”Whoa!” How many times in my life have I allowed a haphazard moment to steal my joy and suck the life out of my seemingly happy day? Wouldn’t I be far more productive if I could shrug those moments off and triumph over that current frustration? If I could identify those moments and what my “triggers” are; how much easier would it be to gauge my reaction?Determine what those moments that set your blood boiling and cause steam to shoot straight out of your ears.
- A car cuts you off in traffic
- Your computer is running slow and forces you to reboot right in the middle of an important project
- Someone ate your lunch (with your name on it I might add) in the break room
- A client you drove around all day Saturday now refuses to call you back
- A guy in what was the shortest drive through bank line now appears to actually be taking out a home loan causing you to run behind on your next appointment.
- Your mother just called for the third time today to tell you your “perfect” sister is coming into town and you now have the job of chauffeuring her around for the next 3 days
- It’s 9pm and your 8 year old daughter just told you that tomorrow is her day to bring snacks for the entire class
I am convinced that life brings us these moments to challenge and entice us. So what will your decision be? Will you be tempted to make a knee jerk reaction that sets your mood tumbling into the abyss of negativity or will you overcome this trial and set your sights on higher ground?I Choose JOY!
About Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice, co-founder of BRIL.LA, has traded narcissism for purpose. When not driving growth, you'll find her tricking family into thinking she's Emeril Lagasse - likely covered in marinara. The spotlight was fun, but impact is better. These days she's using 20+ years of brand brilliance for good.