“Love will make you do crazy things…”
This is true, no doubt.
I’m sure you’ve heard of what went down at the Oscars on Sunday with Will Smith and Chris Rock, and if not, well….good for you, honestly. You can google it.
My biggest take away is how grateful I am that years ago, I learned to do personal work on controlling my thoughts, then my emotions and feelings, and ultimately my actions and my reactions.
For years, I have practiced the “24 hour rule.” That rule is that when something triggers me - whether it’s a text, an email, or even a conversation in person, I pause. I hold my fingers and my tongue in check, and I sleep on it and wait 24 hours (at least) before responding.
That has saved me so much regret, grief and blown opportunities over the years. More than I can even sum up.
It has saved friendships; business relationships; maybe even my marriage!
It has saved me the need to apologize for firing off something nasty, that is just a heat of the moment response.
I don’t know what all was going through Will Smith’s mind to cause him to react so violently and blow to pieces one of his upcoming most defining moments.
Interpretation and perspective is one of the most challenging pieces of being human.
I’ve sought to evaluate the comments from different perspectives, and obviously, I have no idea. I don’t personally know them, or their history, truly.
I know that I have taken things out of context before, and made assumptions about someone’s intent that simply weren’t correct. I was simply viewing them from my own perspective and believing I was correct.
What if Chris Rock’s intent was simply to point out how beautiful Jada looked?
I recall that Demi Moore was quite the gorgeous sensation as GI Jane, and she paved a path for many women struggling with hair loss, cancer, or simple shaving their head by choice to feel beautiful and empowered.
What if he simply wanted to express that, and extend a degree of empathy toward her situation? What if he was unaware of her medical condition, prompting the shaving of her head?
And, what if his intent was to make light of it?
I certainly don’t know, but I do know that it probably didn’t take more than about 30 seconds for Will Smith to wish he could take back his actions.
Violence is never the answer. I’ve never physically struck another person in anger. I never spanked or touched my children in anger. I’m not judging anyone who has. It was a personal decision based on a simple observation one day at a playgroup, when one mom kept slapping her son’s hands and telling him not to hit people.
The irony of that exchange was like a bright, blinking light. I came home and told my husband about it and said - “I’d like us not to spank our kids.” He agreed and we found other ways.
Thought work is one of the best ways to begin to:
Be aware of your thoughts.
Manage your thoughts.
Choose better thoughts.
Have better feelings.
Act and react in a way that will create much more of what you do want, and much less of what you don’t want.
I learned this process through a daily morning practice. A written practice.
We have a choice each day, each moment - we can run the day, or the day can run us. We can be run by every thought that comes in, or we can stop, manage and choose a thought that we want to run by!
This will help you begin the first step of "Awareness."
Then comes Acknowledgement; then Acceptance; and then the best part - Alter!
Alter your thinking. Which in turn shifts your feelings and emotions in the direction you want them to be.
Most of us have been told what to think, right?
By many people throughout our lives.
Parents, siblings, teachers, other family members, friends, spouses, significant others, bosses and more.
We’ve been told what to think, and when to think it, but most often...
We’ve never been taught how to think.
Let that really sink in...
Have you ever thought about thinking on purpose?
We don’t control the thoughts that come into our mind.
We do, however, control how we react to and “feel” those thoughts.
When you manage your mind by developing an awareness of your thoughts and feelings, you can self coach yourself through any situation.
It really does start by writing your thoughts down to clear your mind.
Then, you can run a simple process on the thoughts that trigger you.
This allows you to separate out what is really happening; your thoughts, feelings and reactions around it.
What is the thought?
What feeling do you feel in your body when you think it?
Then name the feeling.
Maybe it is anxiety.
Ask yourself why? Why do I feel anxious?
Are you thinking an anxious thought? Or has something really gone wrong?
What’s true about the thought?
Is it true right now? Happening right now?
Or is it something from the past?
We think on default most of the time and 90% of our thoughts are repetitive.
80% or more of those thoughts are negative.
Do you see how this might derail you?
Become curious about your thoughts; what they mean; how true and real they are and run them through the process.
The process is this -
What is the circumstance that is creating this thought? Could be a person, place, event, etc.
What thought does it create?
What’s the feeling I am feeling?
How do I act or react to it?
What results does this create?
Then, ask yourself these next questions -
Is the thought true?
How do I know it’s true?
What does it mean about me?
How and who would I be if I didn’t have this thought and feel this way?
What do I need to do to think a different thought that serves me better?
Do this practice daily for 30 days.Challenge yourself to become aware and choose the thoughts and feelings that create what you want.
This will allow you to become more aware and in control when situations and people trigger you in person. You'll learn to pause, reflect, and manage your mind!
Imagine how different Will Smith would be feeling right now had he done that.
Simply paused long enough to more strongly consider the results of actions; the long term repercussions; and the damage control he wouldn't even have to be thinking about.
I like Will Smith. He has entertained and inspired me on so many levels.
I also like Chris Rock. He has done the same.
I hope they truly sort this out.
Are you ready to live your best life?