Is it just me, or do people just seem so angry right now?
In nearly every interaction, about every topic, someone seems to have a Ford 150 size chip on their shoulder. No matter what we are discussing, we seem ready to argue. This is particularly true, it seems, online. Everyone seems to be looking for reasons to be cheesed off!
This is one thing the pandemic has created that we can all see…and most of us can easily diagnose. It has created anxiety and fear. And when you combine that with the fact that most of us can’t do what we normally might to blow off steam, have fun, travel, see loved ones, play sports, etc. it gives us time and unused energy. So we are more confined and cooped up, and more reliant on media and social media. While I am a fan of social media for many purposes, I find myself getting overwhelmed by the amount of hate and vitriol you can find there right now.
So what do we do about it?
In times of crisis, I find that the best tactics (for me) is to go back to basics. One of my favorite books of all time is 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. And while I should probably just read the whole book again, I was recently reminded of a powerful lesson from the first habit…focus on your circle of influence. The concept is simple. The most highly effective people spend time focusing on the things they have control over. They do not worry about things that are clearly outside of their control. And, when you continually take care of the things inside your circle of influence, your circle often gets bigger.
To me, that is the clear reason for so much anger right now. We are simply focusing most of our time and attention on things we cannot control. It’s maddening and it’s not helpful. How will the stock market fair? I have no idea. Will there be a football season? Got me. Did Carol Baskin kill her husband? Yes, of course she did. But I can’t do anything about that either!
Lately, when I have been feeling overwhelmed, I try to center myself over the things I can impact. I spend time in my Circle of Influence. When I do that, I find that I not only feel better, but I get a lot more done too.
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