OK, so I think it might be good for me to get a little more specific about the WATER Method and how it can affect your every day life. Specifically, the “T” in WATER which is Thoughts. So I decided to dig a little deeper here and get you thinking, because after all, that’s kind of the idea!
First, take a look at your average day. Think about what you’ve been doing for the last month. Heck, think about what you’ve been doing for the last year. I’m talking about your daily routine here. You wake up, get a shower or a coffee or something to wake you up, get dressed get out the door, go to work or look for work, grab lunch, finish work, go home, grab a bite to eat, maybe watch some TV or spend time with your family, go to sleep and wake up and do it all over again.
You didn’t have to think about doing any of that, right? You just did it, because you’ve been doing it for so long, its second nature to you right? You don’t have to ask yourself “Do I want a cup of coffee? Do I need to get out the door on time? Do I want to eat lunch?” You just do them without thinking, right?
Now think about your thought life. There are patterns there. You know it, and I know it. What you think about every day is almost second nature to you as well. As a result, all the negative ideas about yourself, who you are, and what you do get to visit you every day. Because your thoughts are in this pattern, guess what? So are your Emotions, Words, Results and Actions.
The really amazing part is that the things we focus on that stress us out are usually things we can’t control. For the sake of argument, and to be a good sport, I’ll list some things that are beyond my control and have a good chance of effecting my emotional state at any given time if I allow myself to think about them.
1. Christians who smoke pot: This drives me nuts! I work with a lot of Christians, and the word I hear is that there are a lot of them out there smoking pot like there’s nothing wrong with it. I know Jesus looked like a hippy, but I doubt he smoked pot. Whatever happened to the body is a temple and all that good jazz. Anyway…
2. Large Wearhouse Department Stores: Think Home Depot, IKEA, even Walmart sometimes. I go into these stores and I’m suddenly really sleepy. Not sure what that’s all about, but for some reason, I allow these places to affect my energy.
3. Allergies: I have some specific allergies that really lay the beatdowns on me if I’m not careful. Nothing I can do about them, except maybe take some medicine for it, but sometimes its too late. Really can ruin my plans for the day if I’m not careful.
4. Rapists: Rapists make me really angry. I can’t think of anything that is more demeaning or violating than harming another human being this way. This is why I don’t watch Law & Order SVU, because even thought it hasn’t happened to me, they make the events look decently believable.
5. People who work with me and don’t pay me: Last but not least, people who realize that their insurance won’t cover the work we do together, and decide to stiff me. This drives me absolutely nuts, simply because I put 110% into my sessions, and do what I can to help people. To me, it seems like my work wasn’t valuable at all to them, and maybe it wasn’t, but what am I going to do?
I just listed Five. I’m sure there are more if I really felt like ruining my day, but I’m not so masochistic. I gave this list to prove a couple of points.
1. Other than an action here or there, there isn’t a whole lot I can do about those things.
2. If I choose to think about them long enough, I start to feel bad.
Think about the second one for a minute. What does that tell you? It tells you that you can control your emotional state on a daily basis simply by changing what you think about. How often do I choose to think about that stuff? Rarely. Maybe once a week if they come up. Otherwise, I make a decision not to think about them.
I realize there are not a lot of people who can stop thinking about stuff they have no control over. So here’s a few quick tips on how to manage this:
1. Pick something more productive to think about: Anytime you think about stuff that’s beyond your control, have a list of things ready that you can control and start thinking about them. Get productive!
2. Find the Upside: If there’s a downside, there’s an upside. The upside to clients that don’t pay me? I’ll never see them again, and if I do, then it changes into something I can control. Upside to allergies? It could be worse, I could be allergic to more things than I am right now.
Hopefully this will help you get a handle on some of the thoughts you’re having, and encourage you to take a look at your daily routine and discover if there are some patterns of thought that are putting you in a bad place. I’ll get more into the WATER Method as time goes on. Until then, please comment and share your experiences and what you think of all this! Have a great day!