Tony Robbins has said that there are two states: Beautiful states and Suffering states.
In Deuteronomy, we are offered a choice of Life or Death.
These are choices that we make ALL DAY LONG, in every moment and in every situation.
Yesterday, I mostly chose to suffer.
For those who don’t know me, I am fortunate to have a job I like, a wonderful family, a nice car. Essentially, aside from being too far from the beach and having some debt, my life is perfect.
Which is why I was cranky all day yesterday.
Actually, I was cranky all day yesterday because I chose to focus on the wrong list.
Robbins, again, in an interview with Tim Ferriss: “The Whats-Wrong list is always available, but so is the Whats-Right list.”
Let that sink in.
Do you want to improve your life?
Robbins says to trade Expectations (the Whats-Wrong list is basically unfulfilled expectations) for Gratification (the Whats-Right list).
Deuteronomy says to Choose Life and gives three hints: a) Love the LORD your God; b) Obey his voice; c) Hold fast to Him.
In every situation, we can choose our attitude.
Sometimes people challenge me when I say this with: You don’t know what so-and-so did to me!
That’s true. I don’t.
But why would I (or you, in this case) want to give them any more power over your life than they have already taken?
In my case, yesterday, my frustration at someone not doing what I had asked and not meeting the deadline that we had agreed to, hurt ME and those around me because I carried that choice to suffer into other moments in my day.
If I came to you in advance and said, here’s my plan today:
a) Person A irritated me by not giving me their half of the assignment this morning.
b) Therefore, my plan is to have a crappy rest of the day and make everyone around me miserable.
c) Most importantly, this will allow me to miss multiple possible moments of joy throughout the day.
You would rightfully respond with “You’re an idiot” or “Great, let’s talk tomorrow then because I don’t want to see you any more today.”
As dumb as the above sounds, this is essentially what I am doing when I hold onto “suffering” and carry it beyond the shortest possible amount of time that I need to carry it.
So I’m offering you the choice today in your own life: Will you choose to suffer or will you choose to live in a beautiful state and focus on the Whats-Going-Right list?