How to keep things in perspective.

Did you ever have a problem that just seem to get bigger the more you thought about it?

The other day I got to hear how HR was nearly called into an office scenario that happened. Basically one staff member (we’ll call Joe) needed a stapler and took one from somebody else’s desk (whom we’ll call Peter). Joe used the stapler and forgot to put it back again. When the owner of the stapler(Peter) discovered this catastrophe he got pretty irate.

Next thing we know tension mounts and Peter calls Joe irresponsible and a potential thief. Joe isn’t to happy about this an keeps reiterating how sorry he is but its only a stapler and he forgot to return it. “How dare you touch my stuff”, Joe gets frustrated due to the embarrassment and starts threatening Peter with comments like “shout up or else” so tensions got very high, a clear clash of heads, and all over a stapler. At this point HR got involved, and it is stated that “Peters stuff” is actually the property of the company. Eventually it got resolved and it did take time to heal.

Isn’t it crazy how something so insignificant can turn into a catastrophe? We can turn a mole hill into a mountain in 30seconds! Then as time trickles by and the situation is resolved, you look back and think “why did that bother me so much?”

Thats why I called this article “mole hill to a mountain in under 30 seconds!” Thats how fast we can get out of control based on our emotions. Or maybe even 30 milliseconds with certain situations. Self control is a real discipline of the mind not just our body. Our body doesn’t act by itself, it follows instructions given from our mind as we all know. Keeping emotions under control is a real skill that isn’t easy to acquire, but with time and patience we can.

Life isn’t always easy but the best advice I could ever give is keep things in perspective. Emotions tend to put our problem under a magnifying glass. What is not such a big deal becomes an atrocity. We should never make a decision while under the influence of emotions , whether they are positive or negative emotions. Emotions are in many ways secondary to our thinking so our decisions must be based on fact and emotions will follow that decision.

Thinking of ourselves first is easy, but we need to think of the other person for a moment. Maybe Peter was given some bad news, or had a tough weekend, but either way he let his emotions take over. Thats what our “out of control” emotions can do. They can cause us to do something stupid and even look stupid.

Here is my tip on keeping things in perspective…

Have an attitude of gratitude. Somethings aren’t worth reacting too, and certainly aren’t worth all that energy. The next time you want to blow a fuse, take yourself out of the situation physically or at least mentally. Take a breath, walk away, or just say to yourself “it aint worth all this stress in my system”. Starting each day with an attitude of gratitude. Thinking on something that makes you grateful. The start to your day usually defines how the rest of it will go, so start on the right foot. Having a healthy perspective in life is something that will only serve you well. Know what is worth getting upset over and what isn’t.

It works for me anyway!

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