04 Control What's Inside
They say the truth is usually grey. But if you are active on social media that rarely is the case. You will either find people who 100% support an argument or 100% oppose it. So either black or white.
And depending upon which side of the argument you fall on; encountering the staunch opposition to your position or comments can bring in severe anxiety, rage and compulsion to respond.
I have been guilty of doing this to myself several times. I have wasted countless hours fighting on social media and in the process being sad and angry for the most part of it.
And what I’d found particularly strange and enraging was that even when I was on the side of scientifically proven facts I’d still encounter opposition - bringing me into the fighting ring.
And when it started happening almost every day - I knew it was time to change. But how could I not respond to obvious idiotic comments (at least according to me), How could I let this stupidity go on in my feed? How could I not win every argument? How?
I realized the problem was not outside it was inside. It was me who was (at least passively) fixating on or sometimes searching for opposing opinions and having an urge to strike them down with my comments (albeit with data to support my point of view). And even then, rarely I’d make people change their opinions.
And I had no control whatsoever on what people would say or do. The only limited control I had was choosing whether to engage with them or not.
And why just social media. In day to day situations as well - you can not always control what happens - you however can control how you can react to it. Traffic jams, Sports outcomes are few other examples.
There is not a whole lot you could do from across the TV screen for your team to win but getting angry, sad over their defeat is something you can totally control.
I started ignoring comments on social media and chat messages on whatsapp. I limited myself to 1 reply to a message thread. And started reacting to real and virtual opinions and people, like an 80 year old person - rarely, late and in a mellowed fashion.
And like a miracle it has changed so many things for better
- I am a lot less angry
- I feel zero responsibility and hence compulsion towards responding
- I have more time to do what I really want to do and excel at
So much for controlling what goes on inside isn’t it?
Today’s quote is attributed to Wayne Dyer, who was an American self help author and motivational speaker. His first book Your Erroneous Zones is one of the all time best selling books. And it’s packed with powerful quotes like this
Feelings are not just emotions that happen to you. Feelings are reactions you choose to have.
More often than not you choose your reactions from what happens inside you as a response to something that is outside.
And now for the picture behind the quote as always. This is my home office. My physical “inside” isolated from the chaos. It has my laptop, a very nice set of speakers and my ukulele which I play far less frequently than I should!
While I cannot completely control even this environment - I try to. Just like how I am learning to control my “emotional” inside.
You can’t always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.
Next time when you are jumping in the fighting ring - ask yourself this
Do you really have to? Can you just let go of people’s opinions ? Can you do something better with your time?
Thanks for reading through and most importantly try not to post any negative comments for this blog / video :)
Just kidding ! Go for it.