Driving to the office Monday morning, I followed two different drivers who were obviously distracted by technology. One was weaving in and out of his lane while looking down, almost hitting parked cars twice. The other was so involved with reading or typing something in the passenger seat that five cars ahead of him moved through the intersection without his awareness. Even with a perturbed driver (me) honking his horn with purpose, several times, it took him a while to raise his head and notice.
But this isn’t about unaware, careless drivers. This is about my personal awareness of how I react to things I can’t control. In the past, anger would be expressed, blood pressure would rise, and I would with quickness and intention move my car into the best position to give the other driver the one fingered salute, accompanied by exaggerated motions and facial expressions, and loud verbal venting in case they didn’t get my point. (I’ve actually experienced receiving a one-fingered lesson for driving poorly while ignoring my own impact on other drivers while giving the one-fingered lesson to another driver. Sort of a chain reaction of rage.)
Although I became irritated when the man didn’t hear my horn, I quickly adjusted my reaction, shifted my energy into neutral and took a moment to be curious. What could be so important it needed his undivided attention at that moment? Was it a communication from his family about something critical? Directions to a job site? Or, was it a porn site that captured his attention so fully on his morning commute? It’s impossible to stay enraged when you imagine a man is watching porn at 8 a.m. on a major city street on his way to work.
Quickly switching my reaction to curiosity helped me move into more effective thinking. I have no control over the other driver. I can only control my own thoughts. If I let an unconscious driver impact my energy for more than a moment, I’ve just allowed some stranger to impact my day by stupidly delaying my forward movement by two minutes.
My primary job every day is to maintain my own lights-on energy, or as we say in Clarity®, hold my own energy field, no matter what.
What are the daily irritants in your life that unconsciously drain your energy? Just apply a little curiosity and reframe their impact on your vitality.
Applying raging curiosity,