Patience.

Sisters & Brothers,

For the longest time I didn't care (this is a strong term to be using and possibly incorrect) about the people around me, what they were thinking, going through or their points of view. What mattered was me getting from point A to B or getting a job done and nothing else.

This kind of thinking is bad.

We're surrounded by eachother. Think about it for a second. The world moves together and while one person's path might not be directly affecting yours it very well could and you might never know because your head is down and you think you don't care. Here's a newsflash, deep down you actually do care but it's been so long since you've taken a second to consider the things around you that you're now blind and deaf to it all. The good news is with a little work you can crawl back out and be a lot more present with yourself and those around you.

How?

I decided that to try and find something that was always a pain point for me or that had an impact on my day. For me it was my morning commute. Seriously. I'd get so agitated because someone cut me off on the road or someone else was on their phone and not paying attention, thus disrupting the flow of traffic. I'd get to work in a less than stellar mood and that would ripple through my morning. Petty? Sure. But did it have a measurable impact? Absolutely.

Fix it.

I made the decision to take a deep breath when I got into my car in the morning and if someone did something that would normally set me down that unhappy path I'd tell myself to relax. As easy as this sounds it's actually quite difficult. If you're an aggressive driver telling yourself to slow down, take a breath and relax is supremely difficult.

The first couple of days were painful but I got through them. At the end of my rides (both to and from work) I'd recap them and think about what went well and what I could improve on. By Wednesday I started noticing big differences in my morning mood and my overall stress level during my commute. By Friday I felt pretty good about where I was. Did I completely stop using my horn? No but I only used it twice all that week compared to numerous times each day. What about the week after? I've used my horn once this week and definitely had a point of reversion on one ride into work but I realized it immediately and that's what is important. 

Not just a car ride.

You probably work with people as well. You should take what you're learning from your car rides and apply them to working with people on a daily basis. You're going to quickly find that there are some folks that probably irritate you more than your car ride does. That's ok. I challenge you to do the same thing you did in the car: take a deep breath and relax. Your co-worker could be going through some things, be looking at the situation from an entirely different angle, not have all the info, etc.

Take the time to reset expectations between you and your coworkers if you're having issues. Often time a quick step back and a pause will result in greater gains in the long run. Some added benefits to this approach is that you'll also start to be able to see a much clearer view of everything around you regarding the company you work for, people you work with and projects you're involved in.

In short we all really just need to slow down a little bit and be a lot more mindful of the things and people around us. Yes, work needs to get done and no, this isn't a pass to not be productive but once you're able to develop some better habits around patience you'll notice some fairly large changes in your life both at home and professionally.

Yours,
Jeff