“If you (like I am) are committed to leaving this planet better off than when you got here, who knows what you can achieve? The only limitation, really, is you.
This chapter is based on advice that I have picked up, and things I have fucked up, along the way.
Don’t let others influence how you feel. This one is a biggie, and one of the hardest things to do. So it does take a lot of practice.
We have all had days when a shitty email, an irate phone call or something on social media makes our blood simply boil. As a result, it ends up ruining our day, and that negative interaction makes our interactions with other people shittier.
That’s why I purposely don’t check my email or social media inboxes until after I have put myself in a good mood.
You may have heard this before (as I have invested in some excellent mindset coaches), but there is a key tenet. That tenet is that thoughts are just that. You allow them to become feelings by the meaning you give to them. You allow them to become actions by how you react to those feelings. People who put negativity out have merely influenced you to do the one thing they probably wanted you to do in the first place – namely be pissed off.
By doing this, you are allowing people control over you. You don’t want to do this, by the way. Remember earlier I said that you need to become detached from the outcome? This is one of the places you really need to do this.
At the end of the day, these annoyances are just words on a screen, voices in your ear or a bunch of pixels. Despite seeming real, they’re not real. They aren’t kicking down your door and smacking you around the face, are they? If you react how others want you to react, not only have they won, but you will likely do some dumb shit that you will no doubt regret.
And this leads neatly on to my next point, and what to do about it.
Be mindful of what others may be going through. So you got a shitty message asking for money. Someone complained and wasn’t happy with the quality of your work. Perhaps you got told never to speak to someone again after you called them.
I know, I’ve been there. This happens. Not often, but it does happen. And when it does, especially if you are totally taken off guard, it can make you feel like a pile of shit.
But I want you to consider before you act what the other person could have been going through.
They could have just had a health scare, lost a loved one, have a sick child or any manner of things that life throws at us, and they are acting out of character, lashing out, as many of us do from time to time.
They could have had an argument with a spouse, business partner or colleague that has put them in a foul mood, and you were the next one up and got both barrels of their abuse.
Maybe they have been let down with a payment from a client at their end, and as a result they are trying to claw back cash even though you have done a great job. I’ve heard this one before: someone invested in your coaching, training, or educational material, didn’t do the work, didn’t make any difference to their life, and then realised they had no cash. They are now beating on your door trying to lay the blame on you so as to get a refund, even though it’s their fault they failed.
These situations are many and varied, and it would take me quite some time to detail them all. However, when I’m faced with something like this, I have a solution that, for me anyway, works every time.
First, I write the most aggressive, venom-fuelled, ‘fuck you’ reply I can muster. I stick on some Prodigy or Metallica and smash the keyboard with all my creative rage. Then I take what I’ve written and save it in my notes.
I then carry on with my day and eventually go to bed.
The next day I read my reply. So far, I have never sent the pure rage that I had written. After going through the drill and getting a good night’s sleep (and starting my day the right way), I find my responses are far more calm and collected, and I have generally come up with a solution of some description. If the other person continues to take it out on me, I have the upper hand as they have lost their cool and often make a knob out of themselves.”