We are all used to sending and receiving text messages. How many times have you sent a text message to someone, and because you didn’t receive a reply immediately began to think, ‘They don’t care about me. They are ignoring me. They don’t respect me’? Come on, I know you have, because we all have. Subconsciously we associate one of these negative meanings to an event for not receiving a reply straight away.
I will admit that I used to feel a combination of these emotions and would begin to string made up reasons from here to Africa. I would send a text message to my girl expecting a reply within minutes. If I didn’t receive a text message I would start getting worked up. I would attach meanings such as ‘she doesn’t care about me. She would rather be engrossed with her friends than reply to me, etc. etc.’ I would feel overwhelmed, get angry, and it was not healthy for our relationship. Then I came to realize, that in many instances she would have either been busy, was with friends, or was plainly out of credit to reply back. I had chosen to give meaning to an event. I did not need to do that. I could have simply thought of a positive reason or no reason at all, and let it slide. Yet, I chose to attach negative meanings and end up feeling like a jack a#$.
We tend to attach a meaning to any event that occurs in life. In most instances, the meanings we attach to an event are based on our upbringing (which means it will usually be different from one person to another) and often we do it subconsciously. I see people give meaning to events and end up carrying the weight of negatively interpreting every event, every hour of every day. It gets so tiring for them, to a point where they snap and are then left wondering why they feel exhausted. Winners know that this is not conducive to winning.
You will never tend to get the full picture of any situation and you are constantly required to make the best decisions moving forward with the information you get and see. Knowing this then, it is always better to look at the brighter side of any event until you gather all the information there is.
You choose the meaning you attach to an event. If something upsets you, makes you angry, overwhelmed or filled with anxiety, ask yourself, ‘what meaning am I choosing to give that event’? More importantly ‘why am I choosing to give that meaning’? What other meanings could you attach to it? Could you attach a positive meaning or a meaning that will be neutral? You always can.
Winners understand that if they at some point learned to stick a negative meaning to an event, they can ensure it gets unstuck and replaced with a positive one.