I've had a couple of "difficult" things happen to me this week. What they were is not really worth mentioning. It is worth mentioning that I handled most of them differently than I have in the past.
I think one big difference is compartmentalizing the issues. So, if I'm having a personal issue it has nothing to do with my business life. Yet, that personal issue hangs over my head. In the past I've used the "heart on my sleeve" guy excuse to rationalize misplaced ill treatment of others who had nothing do with it. This week I avoided unnecessarily exacerbating difficulty by setting additional fires in my life because I was hot (emotionally speaking in this case).
I'm still a sensitive guy, I just am a little more measured and patient. For example, when something tough happens rather than reacting right away, I pause, just for a moment and what a difference it makes.
In the past I also used to belittle the idea of problem comparison as a means to make myself feel better. I see it now that I did that as a means to get attention and perpetuate a problematic pity party (boy if I could only get Daffy Duck or the stuttering lawyer in My Cousin Vinny to say THAT...).
Now I can say it does make a difference. Today I volunteered at the Family Giving Tree. It's an organization that connects kids to gifts during the holiday season. So a gift would have a tag saying "Julie Age 9 wants a Barbie doll" or whatever.
As I was helping organize the gifts I came across a tag from a 6 year old who was on the waiting list but did get a gift.
The gift request? "anything fun"
It made me real grateful, real quick. That the child was 6 certainly touched me too because of my daughter.
One thing I took away however was that I was glad that I didn't let the personal issues this week completely spin me. I was able to genuinely feel the moment for that child who will get something fun for Christmas. Call it perspective or compassion or maybe just maturity, it felt good.
And I can say with certainty that today I'm just a little bit better than I was yesterday and I can't ask for much more......
...except for a nano i-pod (yes Mom/Santa I know you're reading this!).