Have you ever let an irritating person or event ruin your whole day?
Do you hold onto bitter feelings or grudges that affect you for days or weeks at a time?
Today I wanted to share 3 steps for getting over the bitter feelings, annoyances, irritations and other obstacles keeping you from having a happy and peaceful day.
This thought was shared with me by one of my dental assistants a few months ago and I’ve wanted to write about it ever since. As best I can tell, it comes from a book called Fuel by Jeremy Chin. I haven’t read the book so I hope I don’t butcher his meaning and intent.
You will recognize the 3 steps from your childhood as the method for putting out a fire on your body: Stop. Drop. Roll.
Before getting into each of those, let’s talk about “fire”. Obviously we are using fire as a metaphor for that feeling of being angry, worked up, annoyed, and frustrated. Have you ever been so angry it felt like you were on fire? I know I have.
When we get into that emotional state, we become more irrational and are likely to do or say things we would never do with a calm head. Sometimes it causes us to treat other people poorly even though they were never the cause of our initial irritation. Spending too much time “on fire” has destroyed many marriages, friendships, and business relationships. It is completely detrimental to our long-term happiness and success.
So how do we put out the fire?
#1 – Stop reacting to the stupid stuff
If you looked hard for them, you could find a hundred little reasons to get upset. Some people’s day is ruined if someone guts them off on the freeway. Or if their babysitter is 5 minutes late. Every time the small, inconsequential events occur, you get to make a choice about how you will let it affect you. Do you look at it as though everyone is trying to intentionally disrupt your day? Or do you just figure it was a mistake or oversight and then keep moving? If you want to feel happier and more content during the day, you must start by stopping.
#2 – Drop your irritation and anger
If you find that you have become angry at some one or some thing, remember to stop and take a deep breath and then let it go. Even if you are totally justified in feeling offended or upset, you have to let it go. The other person isn’t thinking twice about it so why should you let it ruin your day? Just let it go.
#3 – Roll on with your life
Now that you have stopped reacting to the stupid stuff and dropped the irritation and anger, you ca now just roll forward. Get on with your life! What happened, happened. You can’t go back to change it and it does no good to worry about it. Life is all about moving forward so don’t let a little speed bump bring you to a complete stop.
The next time you feel like you are heating up inside about something or someone has set you “on fire”, remember the steps you learned as a kid:
Stop, Drop, and Roll
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