I had the pleasure today of listening to Dr. Stephen Birchak speak at a professional development retreat for work. He’s a fabulous presenter. He focuses on optimism, fulfilled living and interacting with difficult people. In fact, Dr. Bird (as he’s affectionately known) has written a book called The Jerk Whisperer. He’s fun and engaging and everything you need on a hot Friday afternoon – other than an ice cold cocktail, of course!
However, one of the first points Dr. Bird made was on crisis vs. inconvenience. An important point, one that persistently unhappy people seem to confuse. A crisis might be something like the tornado in Moore, OK, a tusnami, a hurricane like Katrina, Irene or Sandy, someone dying of cancer etc. An inconvenience – the line is too long, the traffic is too slow. I would even go so far as to say an inconvenience is anything that doesn’t put you or your loved ones out of safety, home or … well, life. If you continue to have your basic needs met – food, shelter, water, health. Everything else really is just an inconvenience.
Happy people, people who are consistently happy with their lives recognize the difference and do not ever seem to have a “daily crisis”. They are able to recognize these differences, roll with the things they cannot change, and maintain perspective when life hits bumps in the road.
I’m not even coming close to pretending that I am excellently able to decipher the difference. Some day-to-day inconveniences feel so very crisis-like on certain days. But, it’s important to keep things in perspective. Hard to do, for sure, but a good practice to work on moving forward.
It’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to rage for a few to close friends. But check yourself – is this something you can let go quickly and move on? Is this going to impact your overall long term well-being? Are you or someone you know risking death or major loss? No? Then take a deep breath, move past it.