One of my clients Susanne (not her real name) was at a seminar recently, and the person sitting next to her kept making an annoying clicking sound. Again, and again, her concentration and focus was distracted from the seminar speaker because of the clicking sound.
During the break, as she gathered up the courage to tell this person that they were ruining the seminar for her and for everyone else, she realized that in fact, it was a nearby water cooler that was causing the clicking.
Suddenly, the fact that it was an inanimate object changed everything for her.
It wasn’t about the person any longer.
It wasn’t intentional or selfish.
It was simply a water cooler.
The rest of the day was fine, because it was simply a water cooler.
What we focus on we become, but also what we focus on can be unbecoming? We have no control outside of our bodies what people or water coolers for that matter say or do. What we do have control over is how we react or respond to it.
Susanne could have reacted, (what I like to call knee jerk reaction) instantly in the moment without any thought, evidence or different perspective? Fortunately, after gathering the evidence (clicking water cooler) her mindset and worldview of this person was changed in an instant.
How many times have you been in a similar situation without gathering all the evidence or seeing it from another person’s perspective? I know I have.