I became a different person a few months ago. I’m not sure what prompted it but something clicked in my mind that instantly altered my entire mindset.
I simply decided that before I respond to any situation I will ask myself “How can I contribute here to achieve the best possible outcome?” It seems hyperbolic to say that this basic question has revolutionized my life but it is truly has. Please allow me to share some examples to illustrate this.
Example 1: When my mum told me that my brother felt offended that I hadn’t visited him recently, my immediate response would’ve been one of defence and, I regret to say, of attack. I would’ve argued that he easily could have visited me. Instead, by focussing on the desired outcome, I contacted my brother to discuss his concern and by doing so, it allowed us to have a good chat, clear the air and resume to being on good terms.
Example 2: On a recent work call a teammate volunteered to complete an action because no-one else on the call spoke up. The accountable party for the action were on the call but remained silent. Ordinarily in similar circumstances I wouldn’t have said anything for the fear of making the situation more awkward than it already was. However, when I reflected that the objective of the call was to determine a plan of action with all parties, I enquired on the call if the accountable party would in fact be best placed to complete the action as they were the subject matter experts. They agreed – albeit reluctantly at first – and the action was completed in the most efficient way.
Example 3: When someone dangerously cut in front of me in the queue for petrol during the recent UK fuel crisis, I normally would’ve allowed that to trigger instant high emotions in me. I wouldn’t have outwardly behaved any differently but I know I would’ve stewed on that and perhaps allowed it to affect the rest of my day. This time was different. On this occasion I genuinely didn’t feel anything negative. In fact I felt relieved that I was safe and then I resumed my focus on driving towards an available pump.
I realise that none of these examples sound particularly life changing within themselves but therein lies a crucial point. This new mindset isn’t one I use occasionally; it’s in fact my new way of thinking about everything. It has brought me so much peace that I feel like I’ve unlocked the secret to the Universe.