Friday, January 14, 2011

New Year’s (Resolutions?)

This year I did not make any New Year’s Resolutions. I followed the example of my wise wife and decided to live this year based on a motto. This year’s motto for me is “Positive Rants Only”.

By the sixth of January I have already been challenged several times to live with this new motto. I belong to a 'Men's Group' which has been meeting every two weeks for the last 20 years. During the discussion we were having I decided that one of the other members was looking at the world the wrong way and he needed to be informed of his ignorance, i.e. not knowing. I proceeded to point out to him all the things he was misinformed about, how he just didn’t understand the whole idea, how he did not have enough experience to see the whole picture, and how he must have received his knowledge by reading the 'Encyclopedia of Misinformation'. Boy, did I have a good time. I was eloquent, passionate, involved, charismatic and in the flow.I was really into explaining how he had gotten it wrong and how I was right. 

I then told the group about my new motto and for some reason they all laughed. I did tell the group that my response may not have been the best positive rant. 

Please be supportive, it takes at least twenty-one days create a new habit.
One other positive result came from this meeting, now my motto is public I know that the rest of the group will let me know when I am sliding into/jumping into/launching into/gearing up for a negative rant.

A couple of days later I was merging onto Highway 403. I needed to get to the middle lanes quickly because there was an exit coming up that I did not want to take. As you can guess, there was a car right beside me that would not let me change lanes. When I sped up so did he. The exit was coming up fast and still no opportunity to move. I slowed down and the car beside me moved into my lane and took the exit. I was able to move to the centre. This factual description does not cover what was going on inside my car. I was furious. I had this passionate, involving, sarcastic, angry animated and very loud monologue going on out loud and in my head. It went something like this:- “Where did you get your license? Can’t you have some consideration for other people on the road? If this wasn’t my good car I would move into your lane whether you are there or not. How can you be so inconsiderate? “  This was also accompanied with very colourful expletives. Can anybody relate?

A little while later, after reviewing the incident in my head and justifying my outrage, I began to laugh out loud. It came to me like a V8 commercial head slap. I cudda had a …. (different experience). I had fallen into my old comfortable negative rant again. Here it was, a wonderful opportunity to practice my new motto and I missed it. What a great opportunity to beat myself up with another negative rant.   I passed. 

My positive rant: - (understand I am in the consciously incompetent stage.) Isn’t it interesting how life provides me with the chance to make changes. It is an energizing feeling when I take advantage. It is even good when I recognize that I missed the opportunity. I am becoming aware, moving from unconsciously incompetent to consciously incompetent. Being on the path feels good.

Please share any of your experiences around New Year’s Resolutions.

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