If our current health and the financial crisis are creating anxiety and stress for you, then consider going on a 30-Day Opinion Diet to restore your happiness and peace. Sound interesting? Let me show you how.
Since the crisis started, I’ve been on back to back phone calls coaching and assisting my top-performing clients in navigating the curve balls that life has thrown them. As I result, I am seeing two camps of people emerging. One camp is thriving and the other is miserable. Why? Their opinion is the difference that makes the difference.
Which Camp Are You In?
The people in “Camp Miserable” are certain that they are right about how things “should be.” They slinging their opinions left and right, spewing their thoughts about this and that in a feeble attempt to make sense of a complex, ever-changing set of conditions impacting us all. Camp Miserable is blowing it. They are willingly wasting time and energy resisting how things are and unknowingly missing golden opportunities to create what they really want in life.
Meanwhile, the people in “Camp Thriving” are actively making peace with the way things are. They are looking at a new set of circumstances, restrictions, and health threats in front of them and choosing to invest their precious time in finding solutions that work them. At the same time, they are on the hunt for opportunities. Opportunities to connect with people, to rethink their schedule, to renegotiate their parenting approach, and to revise how they work. They are responding to the same pandemic in very different ways.
Let me walk you through what is happening here.
Spoiler Alert: Opinions Are The Source of The Negativity, Not The Circumstances.
Has it occurred to you that the source of your frustration, doubts, fears, and upsets are actually just your opinion? Here are some examples of opinions I’ve heard people saying lately:
- The president should do that!
- My boss is a freaked out jerk!
- You aren’t gonna believe what this yahoo did at the grocery store.
- This whole crisis thing is overblown.
- The leaders of this country are blowing it.
- My sister isn’t taking this seriously.
- Why aren’t people wearing masks?
Opinions like this create resistance. They create an opposition that activates your survival fight or flight response. Not peace. Not happiness. Not contentment. You are entitled to your opinion. But your entitlement causes you to suffer when you indulge your arrogance and give your perspective on things that you can’t do anything about or worse, things you don’t know anything about. Opinions can be pompous when they are about how others should behave when the only thing you can control is how you behave.
The question you must answer is, “Am I Committed to Feeling Happy or Being Upset?” If you are committed to being upset, then simply continue to give your opinion about things that you can do nothing about. But if you are committed to feeling happy, then commit to going on an opinion diet for the next 30 days. Here are four steps to help you get started.
Step One. Stop commenting on government officials and their decisions.
Our government officials are doing the best they can, given their background, personal agendas, values, and priorities. No one asked you what you think about their job performance. In fact, no one actually cares what you think. You are not in charge. If you are being honest with yourself, you see that there is nothing you can do. You don’t have any influence in this area. So, in order to restore your peace, embrace the situation as it is. Stop pretending that your comments will change the situation. They won’t unless you get directly involved.
If you vote in elections, you are doing your part to elect the officials who are running the show. If you don’t vote, well, then you voted to not participate. The people in elected positions are there, doing what they think is appropriate given the information you may not have. What you think about what they are doing tells us more about you, than about them. Dramatically reduce the conflict in your life by taking a 30-day break from commenting on government officials and their decisions. Then sit back, and enjoy the peace you experience as a result.
Step Two. Stop giving your opinion about the crisis and how it is affecting the world.
First off, get a grip. You have no idea what is actually happening. You just have your absurdly limited view based on biased information sources that match with your confirmation bias. Take a moment right now, and admit that you don’t know what’s actually happening. You have bits and pieces, at best. Back off, and realize you are trying to describe the totality of the ocean by looking through a set of binoculars. Your view is limited.
There are millions of people working on this problem. There are people from all over the world dealing with the impact of this virus in all kinds of ways. Some are reporting, others are not. With reflection, it’s very practical to admit that you have access to a minute fraction of the information available and therefore your opinion about it is mostly useless. Stop giving your opinion for the next 30 days. Stop. Instead, focus on what you are facing in your life and deal with that directly. Stop pretending like you know what is happening.
Step Three. Stop pretending like you are an authority on how life is “supposed to be”
I know it’s hard to believe. But you are not the All-Knowing Ruler of the Universe. Give it up. Stop operating like you know how things are supposed to be. There are over 7.3 billion people on the planet. You aren’t an expert on the majority of the human experience.
In fact, start to notice that no one actually cares about how you think life is supposed to be. The nice people in your life smile and nod when you arrogantly declare that life should be something that it’s not. But they have their own perspective. Others will happily oppose you and argue for their arrogant, uninformed opinion that no one cares about.
Your opinion about how life is “supposed to be” creates conflict for you. The life people are living and the decisions that are getting made without your involvement are happening outside of your control. Take a 30-day break from telling us all how life is supposed to be. Maybe someday when you get the time, you can write the ultimate book of wisdom on how everyone should live. Until then, zip it, smile, and enjoy a newfound peace of mind.
Step Four. Practice accepting those things you can not change and focus on what you can change.
What you accept will transform. What you resist will persist. It’s a waste of time and energy to pretend like complaining, whining, and giving your opinion will create change. It won’t. Action creates change. Stop talking and start doing what it takes to make your life work for you. Stop talking to everyone about what the rest of the world needs to do to make you happy. NO ONE CARES. AND IT’S NOT GETTING YOU WHAT YOU WANT.
Stop creating conflict and then blaming the world. Your opinion is the source of the conflict. You got this. Just smile and say, “Everyone has an opinion on everything, including things they know nothing about. Opinions are the source of conflict and suffering. I’m committed to being happy today. Therefore, I’ve got no opinion on the matter.”
Let the world be in conflict over how things “should be” while you make the changes in your life to create happiness, functionality, and workability. It all starts with taking a 30-day Opinion Diet. You’ve got nothing to lose but frustration, doubts, fears, and upset. Ask Camp Thrive and you’ll discover that in a time of crisis, having peace of mind is extremely valuable.
Check out these resources to help you create a quiet mind.
Post: A Case For A Quiet Mind