I watched a good movie last night, Soul Surfer.
The movie was about a young, promising, Hawaiian surfer girl named Joy, who suffered a shark attack (Tragedy). She chose to attach a certain meaning behind why this happened to her (Perspective) and in doing so realized the gift (Frame) she was creating in her new life.
Watching this story welled up a whole bunch of emotions within as it touches on the struggle we all have. All of us – life – we are wrestling with some type of conflict be it visible or unseen. Often this wrestling match is compounded when it is linked to reality shifts such as a financial tragedy or personal tragedy.
Life just happens – no rhyme or reason – it just is…For me, the word Life means events and opportunities taking place in my direct environment which can impact me positively or negatively.
With life, we each have the opportunity of choice. Having the foresight to understand how these choices might impact us further down the road is at times very difficult. When emotions are involved sometimes they can lead us to make a “less than desirable” choice. When emotions are in control they can often lead us into a very tricky situation which might end badly.
We are emotional creatures, things can quickly spiral out of our immediate control. However, each of us always has a choice on how we perceive these events and what we consciously chose to do with the results.
So that movie, Soul Surfer, made me think of a tool I would like to share – it is used often used in understanding & controlling my emotions.
W.I.F.F – As in getting a whiff of something, like a yummy smell. A simple mental suggestion which contains a powerful acronym.
W- hat is happening right now – the situation – did something just happened to make me become more aware (Intuition)
I – s it impacting me? If so, how? Am I in danger? Do I need to leave the area immediately?
F – rame of Reference
- Frame – How am I viewing this action? What is my emotional state? Am I angry, sad, frustrated, nervous, scared?
- of – Are there surrounding components? What is my biochemical state?
- Reference – the training, patterns, beliefs, life events I am thinking about NOW. Are these references helpful or hurtful?
F – uture the actions I should take NOW in order to maintain my current reality.
WIFF – is useful in all sorts of encounters.
Think about it for a second, that’s all it takes. If you embark on training the muscle of the mind like you train the muscle of the body, you can achieve great things. A mind muscle memory action, not an emotional reaction.
The Navy Seals, an elite fighting force of the United States Government uses techniques called the “Big Four”. The training of (Goal setting, Mental Rehearsal, Self Talk and Arousal Control) provides the ability to delay signals from our amygdala, the oldest, most basic part of our brain. Allowing the prefrontal cortex, the thinking part of our brain, to evaluate the automatic, pre-programmed response consciously, prior to taking action. Simply put, we, as humans, are beginning to develop and understand the potential of our brain. We are learning how to choose, rationally viable decisions, in a split second, tweaking millions of years of evolution with the process.
In our world, if you are in a bad mood and someone individual cuts you off in traffic on your way home from work what would you do? You might go through the roof, blow your horn, shake your fist, etc. Depending on your emotional state there might be a possibility to engage in argument or road rage.
Now, take the same situation as above but this time, you are in a good mood, driving along enjoying one of your favorite songs. The same action occurs, do you think it might create a different response from you?
The main difference in the two examples above is your emotional state – next time someone cuts you off in traffic say “What the WIFF” and do the process as outlined above. You might just be surprised what you learn about yourself in that moment.
** A word of warning – You have to do the work! You have to choose to approach the situation differently. The moment WIFF is needed most; is the moment you won’t want to do it. (Emotional State)
In training the brain, you can encourage the rational mind into action, allowing yourself the opportunity to
- change your frame of perception,
- understand the emotions engaged,
- and develop a plan with a “desirable” outcome.
Remember, be kind, we all have internal conflicts and external trials. That person creating the situation might just have lost their job, mother, wife, kid, house, money, health, etc, etc, you get the idea. We have absolutely no way of knowing what someone is carrying inside and the personality, usually, does a good job of concealing it.
Copyright © 2016 Michael Headberg, All Rights Reserved.
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