My eyes opened at 7:30 to a cold, rainy morning today.
The windows in the bedroom were open and the cool breezes blowing in made it one of those perfect “stay in bed” mornings.
But my wife’s out of town, my daughter is now about to be late for school, and I have to drive her in. Not only that, but my 8-year-old (asleep in the bed next to me, above the dog) needs to wake up and come with us, since I can’t leave her home alone.
So the panic begins.
I have to let Buttercup out before we leave. She’s taking too long. I can forget about coffee. I throw on last night’s clothes and a baseball hat, and we’re in the car.
It’s pouring outside.
We get on Route 84 between Exits 16 and 17 (the longest exit in CT) and we’re immediately stuck in gridlock. Bumper to bumper.
“YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!”
I’m now feeling the stress in my gut, and yelling at the morons who are driving up the right lane trying to get ahead.
“Those jerks are the cause of all this damn traffic,” I proclaim to my two daughters, neither of which could hear me because they both had headphones on.
I confess. Even I, the most optimistic happy-go-lucky person on planet Earth can get toxic.
Yesterday I become perturbed (great word) when somebody in my network marketing business posted a stupid, negative comment on Facebook. I also got news yesterday that somebody from my old company was spreading false and hurtful rumors about me.
On stages around the world I’ve taught that we only have control over one thing; our thoughts. We need to choose our thoughts wisely because they really do determine our destiny. When I’m conscious of it, it’s easy for me to control.
The Facebook woman has a toxic personality. She feels validated when she says negative things and other people commiserate with her. It’s a life she’s stuck in. It has to do with her upbringing and her current surroundings. She doesn’t know she possesses the power to change it all and probably never will. It’s not her fault.
The person spreading the rumors (who I don’t even know) only effects me if I think about it. So I choose to laugh. The poison they spew only effects them. Not me.
In my book, Appreciation Marketing; How to Achieve Greatness Through Gratitude there’s a chapter entitled “It’s Always Sunny Above the Clouds” which is the perfect metaphor. It kicks off with an ancient Persian quote, “I wept because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.”
Happiness breeds happiness and contempt breeds contempt. Which would you rather spread?
Fact is, all this rain is going to raise the water level in my pool (which I just opened up)! It’s going to water my grass and help the trees green-up! Spring came late.
Incidentally when I got to the end of the traffic this morning I drove past the upside down tractor trailer who had gone off the road and taken out the entire guard rail. I was immediately shocked out of my bad mood. That guy is having a much worse day than any of us that were inconvenienced a little by a traffic jam.
Hope he’s okay. I know I am. I’m a lucky guy. My choice.