Bob and Erica came into my tax law office a few days ago, and as usual they were cheerful. A few years ago, they had a serious tax issue, but now everything is under control. I always look forward to seeing this couple because I know they will be pleasant to me, effective in presenting their information and responsible about their taxes.
These people are always cheerful. I think that life can’t be easy for a landscaper, his wife and two little kids. Bob’s work is seasonal and Erica has a low-level health-care job. There must be times when they worry and struggle with bills. But their emotional default is to be cheerful.
They approach their day to day problems with happiness and the joy that implies, which will grease the skids of life very well. Things that look good when you are cheerful might look very bad when you are angry.
When I was younger, I was often the captive of my emotions. I occasionally lashed out in anger, which I learned accomplished nothing, except to prove what a perfect ass I could be. I also was repeatedly embarrassed to realize that I had been utterly wrong in some aspect of what I was angry about. I learned to investigate before I blew up. The question, “Can you tell me why you did that?” prevented a lot of bruised feelings in my staff.
After I thoroughly absorbed the concept that I was in charge, and not my emotions, I became a problem solver, instead of a source of chaos for my staff and for myself in my personal life. As I solved business and personal problems, I became more confident and happier to approach each day with the joy that Bob and Erica already knew.
I had reset my emotional default. I now go to action, rather than to anger.
I invite you to look at where you go when you are pressed. Do you go to a place from which you can be effective and solve problems? Do you dive into past failures? Well – I have news for you: You are here today, and the failures don’t count any more. You are better and stronger for having failed and gotten up again. Decide that you will be joyful, that you will meet your life with joy, and observe how much better you become at solving problems. You will also be infinitely happier.
I realize that at first being joyful may be a heavy lift. Maybe you can only do it for moments or for a day. Keep practicing, and soon it will be a habit, and problems around you will dissolve.