#LifeLessons - You're Gonna Hear Me Roar!


Photo by Fervent Jan
Step right in, or stand back - why knowing how to pick a battle is as important as winning it.

What happens when we let something, someone get under our skin?

Whether driving around seething from the number of stupid riders/ drivers there seem to be on the road or when reading articles / comments online leave us reeling with how stupid the discussion is, what is it that make us want to rush right in.

Experience the anger and frustration and vent. This includes everything from actually shouting and screaming at the car/bike that cut us off or making sure everyone on the forum/ in the comments section knows exactly what a douche we think the author is.

There. Done. We’ve vented and said our piece. What next? 

In terms of the rash driving situation - we haven’t made a dent. Most people in India don’t even have to take a driving test to get their license and paying attention to the right way to drive is therefore, not intrinsically linked to getting behind the wheel. Even those with some form of formal education probably never realize the value of paying attention. They are happy to take on the uncalculated risk while driving with a toddler in the front seat, plugged into their phones chatting while their hazards blink to no higher purpose. 

In the second case, the comments section is like a right 'ole pissing contest of who can sound the smartest, troll everyone else most and above all, can make this stuff go viral. Intentionally or unintentionally, this could start a muddy war of words, where the whole point could be lost, turned around on its head or end up completley contradictory to what was said in the first place. So, game, set, match goes to the person who bullies everyone else into submission - that’s all.

While in one situation our actions have had no impact, in the other, they’ve started something that could get really ugly, fast and we lose what little control we had over our own voice in the melee.
So, what do we do? I can’t say that I’m the personification of zen-like behaviour at all times. But what I actively do is this. As far as possible, I pay close attention to the situation and make an assessment - what can I do to positively affect this right now? 

If the answer is shout and scream, then that’s what I will try. If it’s stay out of it - even if I’m itching to retort - then that’s what I’ll do. Why? 

Because we can react to a situation as it unfolds, but reacting immediately doesn’t come from a place of clear thought. Often, after the heat of the moment subsides,  we are left with the hollow felling of not knowing exactly what went down, why we reacted the way we did and sometimes we’ve lost the conn, and the ability to affect the outcome by then. What’s more - the science tells us that this near constant series of spikes in stress can kill us. 

So how about trying this for the day - when we feel the emotion building up inside, step back and ask - is it worth it? 

Unless the answer is “oh hell yeah!”, give peace a chance. Step back, wait it out, assess, assess, assess. When we pick our battles, we’re actually stock-piling our ammo for the battles that need it. 
Winter, and more importantly, the white-walkers are coming. Are we ready?

PS: If you're wondering why the picture of Bruce Lee... Because nicknamed Little Pheonix and born November 27, 1940 - he was little but he was fierce and he affected change where none thought possible.

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