Many times a day I ask myself, “am I being effective?” Sometimes I ask, “would that be effective?” I have had to learn the art of being emotionally effective. Not too long ago, I wasn’t effective, I never thought about it, which was ineffective. Being emotionally ineffective causes self-harm and harm to others. I didn’t know to ask myself these questions. My behaviors, thoughts reactions, choices were all ineffective. The good news I learned that I could control these things, I could learn to be effective. The key word is learn, but also willingness to learn, thereby improving my life and my relationships with others.
Do you react or respond? I learned I was reacting emotionally to situations versus responding. Responding takes thought, is being mindful, is effective. We all react to everyday situations, but that can lead to being ineffective if we are not mindful. Here’s an example:
I am driving to an important meeting, traffic is heavy on the freeway. As I start to take a sip of my coffee, a car cuts me off as they dart into my lane, I slam on the breaks, my coffee goes flying, landing on my important business papers, staining them brown, ruined. I react, yelling at the driver many unpleasant words. I am now extremely angry, “great, my day is ruined, I don’t have time to fix the coffee stained paperwork before my meeting!” I arrive at work, angry, yelled at my assistant, and went into my meeting , letting my emotions effect my behavior.
In this example, I allowed the past, affect the present. The car cutting me off lasted 2-3 secs, then it was over. I caused harm to myself by being angry, performing poorly at my meeting, and harming others by yelling at my assistant. All emotionally ineffective. Do not let the past affect the present. This takes practice, so the next time I get cut off in traffic, I will practice, I will be angry during the moment, but let the anger go, if I don’t, the anger is no longer emotionally effective for me.
We all need to practice this skill, ask ourselves, “am I being effective?”
Be mindful, try, it. Hope this was effective.