After abandoning a heated (“Explosive ” is a better word) argument with a complete stranger in the middle of the road, amidst a cacophony of blaring horns and abuses (in multiple languages) hurled by other irate drivers, I got back into my car. Trust me, we would have gone on if the wail of a police siren in the distance hadn’t driven sense into our overheated heads.
Once I zoomed off with a flushed face and got ourselves out of the imbroglio, my long suffering wife gave me “That look” , saying “Tsk”, “Tsk”, “Tsk”.
“What ?”, I growled. “Didn’t you see how he behaved?”
“I don’t think he is a Corporate Trainer and I doubt whether he is a coach either. And I am very sure that he doesn’t host a popular self development blog”, She retorted.
“And I really hope that none of your trainees saw your performance tonight”, she continued.
To end the patronizing preaching, she decreed…. “After all your reading and training, you got HOT. You should BE SAD, not sounding self righteous”
That last phrase got me thinking….HOT…BE SAD
HO: HOW did I create this overblown situation? (The sequence of events)
T: What was I THINKING? (He shouldn’t have done that. How dare he? Doesn’t he know how to drive? Doesn’t he have any manners?…………………….)
BE: What were my BELIEFS? (Everyone is a good driver. Everyone will accept sincere polite criticism. Everyone will understand my point of view. Everyone will respond the way I want them to…)
S: What did I SAY/DIDN’T SAY that lead to this situation (When I told him to drive carefully, he asked me to ^%&* off. Then I called him an uncivilized animal instead of saying “Thank you/May god protect you/Please take care” and driving off)
A: What ACTION did I take/NOT TAKE ( I blocked his car, got out, tried opening his door…. Instead of just driving away….)
D: What will I do DIFFERENTLY next time (Make sure that he hears what I want to say politely and get lost without even waiting to hear his version or reply)
I felt a lot more wiser and self composed after asking these questions to myself and finding the answers. At the end of the day, you can’t blame anyone else for the mess that you are in. You have to take 1000% responsibility and get yourself out of the mess.
So if you find yourself pointing fingers at someone at any point of time (could be your boss, or your neighbor, wall street, climate), ask yourself : HOT…BE SAD. And the next time will be different…..better actually.