I know that I can’t control everything that goes on around me. I know most outcomes are out of my hands. But I do know that I can control how I choose to react in any given situation. I know that in that space between stimulus and response that Dr. Covey talked about – and what Dr. Viktor Frankl knew to be true from his own life experiences – that I must learn to react in a way that will get me what I want. Everything you do in life is a matter of choice. You may not like the choices that you have to choose from – but it is a choice.
“If you change the way you look at things. The things you look at will change” – Unknown
Having a relationship with my son was and still is very important to me. (I was not his most favorite person when his mother and I were going through our divorce) But I knew that if I wanted to have a good relationship with my son I had to have a good relationship with his mother. I had a choice to make. The divorce could be adversarial or not. I could choose to be confrontational and drag out the divorce proceedings, or I could choose to be open and receptive and negotiate a settlement that his mother and I could agree on. I knew that if I wanted what I wanted – which was a relationship with my son – then I needed to react in a way that was going to accomplish that. My ex-wife will always be my sons mother and my granddaughters grandmother whether we were married or not. Nothing I could do would ever change that. It is what it is – it would make no never mind.
“Everything can be taken away from man but one thing – to choose – one’s own attitude in a given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor Frankl
I’m happy to say that my ex-wife and I have a great relationship. She is one of my very best friends. I know that I can turn to her for help when I need it and she knows she can count on me if and when she needs my help. (That’s what friends do) That’s a conscious choice I made.
Attitude really is everything. I’m talking about yours, not the people you work with and interact with on a daily basis. If you think about it – your attitude is the only thing you can control 100% of the time. Only you get to decide how you want to react to any given situation. Yes it’s true – other people or events may be the motivating factor that got you to react a certain way – but only you can mentally or physically do it. No one else can do it for you. You are the only one who can give that kind of power over you away. Take Covey’s advice. In that space between stimulus and response think about what you want to accomplish and then respond in a way that will get you what you want. Remember – It’s 100% in your control. – Cheers, 🙂