It’s amazing how much anxiety people feel over change.  They fight it.  Fret about it.  Talk about it.  Blog about it.  Resist it.  Hate it.  Complain about it. And so many of us each and every day seek to keep it from happening.

Friday I received Chip Conley‘s new book, Emotional Equations.  WOW.

A few weeks ago, I did some filming for my client, Dr. Harold Duncan of Preston Place Counseling in Dallas as he delivered a speech about Emotional Intelligence.  Mom is here visiting and went with me to the speech.  In the past few weeks, I can’t tell you how many times she has said how eye-opening that speech was.  (We’re in the process of getting some bumpers shot and the speech will be available shortly on the PPC Website.)

Despair = Suffering – Meaning

One principle I’ve already captured and analyzed is Conley’s equation on Despair.  We all can suffer in one way or another from life’s changes and events.  What leads to disparity and the impact it has on us is how much meaning we allow something to have.

Are you as the 1970s cliche went: “Sweating the small stuff?”  My dad loves the corollary to that: “It’s all small stuff.”

I could go on and on down a list of things I could choose to be upset about:

  • Recent divorce from Kari; her habitual use of marijuana, heroin and meth in our house; the impact her drug problem is having on her children; her lack of upkeep of our house; her relationship with a former lover; the whole nuttiness of what being in that Houston hospital in the 1990s has had on her entire family, and now into second generations, and a string of failed relationships, the list goes on an on….
  • Work
  • Finances
  • Health
  • The lack of a winter here in Dallas and this week last year we were covered in ice for five days…..

But I’m trying to make a turn for the better and just let some of the “big” little things go.  In Conley’s terms, I’m trying to NOT let them have as much meaning.

What are some things in your world you should stop letting have so much meaning?  We all have bad stuff happening to us each and every day.  How much power are you going to let it have in your day?  How much power are you going to surrender to say a meth addict?  How long are you going to be frustrated with an ex-spouse’s parents because they refuse to do anything to help by hiding their heads in the sand?  I’m choosing more and more each day to say, “less and less.”

I know so many people who are suffering today.  In Harold’s speech, he quoted Mark Twain of all people, who said about anxiety: “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”  But for the ones that do, what are you going to do about them?  Give them meaning or tell them to get in line to take a long walk off a short pier?

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