Decide How to Feel

It’s cute to see a middle-aged person discover something I’m teaching my first-grader but yes, 95% of our mental states can be a product of a simple decision.

I don’t know why people relinquish control over their daily experience because it’s utterly unnecessary. All you need to do is decide before going to an event, a meeting, a drive, a grocery store, whatever how you are going to feel during the upcoming experience. Curious, elegant, competent, beautiful, effective – whatever you need to feel at any time, plan for it in advance and enjoy. There’s a lot of bad shit over which we don’t have any control. Why give up things we definitely can control when getting a grip on them is as easy as the above tweet describes it?

Our life is a story we tell ourselves about it. Absolutely anybody can describe themselves as “a stupid ugly loser who had terrible luck and never did anything right”, “a mediocrity with a humdrum boring life”, or “a brilliant beautiful individual who was extremely lucky in life and experienced amazing stuff.” Depending on the angle we look from, these descriptions can apply to everybody. We have complete freedom to choose the one we like.

3 thoughts on “Decide How to Feel

  1. I think many of us have to learn it over and over in different contexts.

    Just had one of those discussions with 11yo last night: he was really distressed because something previously-predictable had changed (he’s very attached to schedules), and we had to have, once again, the conversation about how you can’t control other people in order to make your own world more comfortable and predictable, but you CAN control your own behavior etc. etc.

    And as silly as it seems to still be learning that in middle age… I’ve had to go over it with myself recently as well. I, too, prefer a world where there are rules, schedules, and everyone behaves predictably… and hardly anything actually works that way so it’s my job to adapt and not get too stressed about it. I know how this works, and sometimes I am still remarkably bad at it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That stupid D/FW metroplex thing where people climb up your tailpipe trying to make you go faster?

      North Florida has a simple, easily implemented solution.

      Just pass the person in the way without making it into something awful.

      Usually the person being passed slows down a little bit to let the person back into the lane without risking oncoming traffic.

      (It’s called “not being an asshole”, but lots of people in Florida still need to try it.)


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