One of my biggest lessons last year was the concept of how we can choose to be happy or to suffer. Let me explain.
Let’s just suppose you are supposed to have a meeting with someone and he delays for an hour but you keep waiting. In that waiting mode, there are two options you have.
The easy way out
Option A is to keep telling yourself things like “This guy doesn’t respect me. How could he be this late? I hate such people. They piss me off”
Option B, while waiting, you could tell yourself “Well, I hope all is well with this gentleman. I pray he is safe. Oh, this is also an opportunity for me to make some calls. This is a chance for me to read the book I carried with me”.
Take note that the event is one. But there are multiple options for you to interprete the same event. As you can imagine, option A which is very common and I used to fall in that category, you are most likely to be angry. That’s pain. That leads to suffering.
Option B, you would most likely stay calm. You could even be smiling all through which contributes to your happiness. Now, to be clear, I do not condone late coming. And even with option B, if you later notice that the person had an option to come on time, you could give them feedback. But at least you would have saved yourself an hour of suffering before the person arrived.
What’s the strategy then? Pick an interpretation that is healthier. The one that serves you or empowers you especially amidst a challenging event. You will be happier.
Ethan Musolini is the CEO of Success Africa, motivational speaker, HR consultant and success coach.