We have talked about all the rules and those that make them for us the last time with a special emphasis on the rules that we make up for ourselves. When we make rules for ourselves like, ‘I am going to listen intently to others when they speak to me’, or I am going to work diligently to learn this new skill, it is far more likely that we will demonstrate discipline and fulfill this promise to ourselves.
Really though it is about making choices. Every choice that we make has an outcome and a ‘consequence’ that goes with it. This is a very simple principle that is key for our children to learn. It is important for them to correlate choices with consequences – good and bad.
The formula is very simple E + R = O. Event plus your Response (choice) will have an Outcome. When we decide as adults or children that we will be 100% responsible for our choices and there outcomes (consequences) then we will be well on our way to creating the life that we want for ourselves.
How do we teach this to our children? We can do this by creating opportunities for some choices and then allowing them to have some failures and reap the consequences that go with them. We only make progress in any endeavor when we have a failure and then work through it and get better / stronger on the other side.
Never having a failure or not being allowed to have a disappointment from time to time does not build character. It only builds an attitude of entitlement that will soon learn that in the real world not everything is going to go our way.
It is not hard to be thankful when we are in the good times. When everything is going our way and we are happy, everyone is getting along and times are feeling the best, we can be thankful for many things very easily. It is when we are not happy, when we are feeling sad, frustrated, disappointed, angry or even envious that being able to see the things we have to be thankful about requires more work.
For me this comes back to how we talk to ourselves, and listening to the words and feelings of others that may bring us back to our ‘attitude of gratitude’. Yesterday was not my best day of being a teacher. I had been disappointed in a few students at the begining of the day and somehow I allowed this to affect my teaching style the rest of the day.
Has that ever happened to you? Your disappointed by something or someone and you feel like you need to fix everything right now in this very day or moment. What I should have done is as soon as I could see and feel this disappointment, is step back and look at what I have to be thankful for and meditate on that for a few minutes. Had I done that I am sure I would have spent the rest of the day in a better frame of mind, and maybe even taught a better class.
I have said this before but I will repeat this again, for my own benefit. You never accomplish your goals or be your best when you are trying or acting out of fear or anger. It is only when you act out and respond to challenges and situations from a place of love and gratitude that you are able to reach your goals. I will continue to work on this and if you have ever had similar experience I would like to hear about them. Sometimes it helps to know that we are not the only one that has an experience like the one I described.