As human beings, we all have the right to get upset. The only thing we do not have the right to do is, ‘continue to stay upset,’ so said my guide, Kichu Krishnan, a long time ago.
A friend of mine once said, “Arjun, I am so upset by the corruption, the economy and the unaccountability of the leaders.”
I asked, “So what is this upset about?”
His response was, “This upset is because nothing seems to be in the right direction.”
This may be one instance, but if you ask me, we are impacted, affected and pulled down by various incidents all around us. The cause of these incidents may be people, things or circumstances, all of which are external to us. These external factors act as triggers and raise an avalanche of emotion that many a time leaves us as helpless, hapless victims.
Due to this helplessness, we are left in a state being resigned and cynical. This state is not useful as we sometimes spend minutes, hours, days and months in this upset state.
Here are ways by which one can overcome an upset:
Reality bug 1 – we can’t stop external triggers from knocking us over. Can you imagine a ship not being hit by strong waves now and then?
Reality bug 2 – as human beings we do get affected by these triggers
Reality bug 3 – when we are affected by these triggers the sooner we recognize and acknowledge them, the better.
Debugging the reality bug – it is useful to ask when the reality bug hits: “What best can I do in this situation? (given the fact in am in it and I cannot reverse it come what may).”
A senior executive was asked this question. He was upset about not being able to decide over shifting to a job which seemed to have excellent prospects in a different location. He worked it out by applying this statement – “I have an option of exercising my choice (reflecting what best can I do in this situation). I feel that I can leap if I get the support of my family and I would like to check with them and then decide. “
This debugging statement became a springboard to look at alternatives and choices. He replenished his energy and enthusiasm and felt empowered to have a dialogue with his family members and found an appropriate way out.
Thus he waded from upset to being composed in the face of crisis.
Anybody can get upset, it is normal for a human being but what is abnormal is to stay in an upset state for a prolonged period.
It is better to debug your upset before the upset bugs you and pulls you down. One powerful way is to ask – ‘What best can I do in the situation? ‘
If you have some other way that is also effective, please share so it can help others get over their upsets.
For those who have participated in our E-Series Leadership Program. Please refer to:
Leadership definition ‘What best can I do . . . ‘
Panic to mastery