Things happen in your life that are outside of your control and for someone like me, that was and is very difficult to comprehend. How do bad things happen to good people? Why do they happen? What is the meaning behind it?
Maybe you believe in fate.
Maybe you believe your path has already been laid out before you.
Maybe you believe the only thing you need to do is follow the signs.
However you justify it, bad shit happens to good people every day. How do we process these situations? It is a question that I have been indirectly asking myself for the last decade. I’ve learned to cope with these types of situations by trying to control every aspect of my life. Maybe you are like me and you can relate.
When I don’t have control, I feel like things can spiral out of control within a moment’s notice. It took me a long time but I am beginning to understand that trying to control every aspect of my life is not healthy. In management training, I learned that you cannot want success for your team more than they want it for themselves. This holds true in many aspects of life. As a manager, if I want success more than my team wants it, I end up trying to control them and force them into my vision, which ends in a power struggle. The goal, then, is to encourage the team to formulate their own vision together and support them as we all work toward a common goal.
My therapist once told me that I have experienced a lifetime of hardships before my mid-30s. I got married August 10th, 2013 and two weeks to the day after my wedding day my mother passed away from cancer. We were very close. She was a teacher for 30 years and just recently retired, ready to experience her golden years with my father. I didn’t get to dance with her at my wedding because her chemo made her too weak, but she was determined to attend the ceremony and it was a blessing that she did. My older sister stepped up to share a dance instead and that is something that I will never forget. I cherish that moment with my sister because she died in a car accident 18 months later. She was just 34 years young. She was a Criminal Defense Attorney with a very promising career ahead of her, a husband and two toddlers (18 months & 3 years old). I am the middle child. I was not supposed to reach 35 years old first, but I did. The next month, my wife told me she was leaving me and 6 months later she was pregnant with someone else’s child while still legally married to me. Tragically losing the 3 most important women in my life within such a short time span crushed me. The result of this unfortunate string of events is that I began walling off my feelings, hiding them behind anger. I found myself losing empathy for others. I began trying to assert more control in life situations of the people around me.
You can’t control the actions of the people around you, even if you know what they’re doing is “wrong.” Afterall, it’s their life and maybe it’s not “wrong” to them. This is something I am consciously working on, and it is especially difficult to reserve my judgment of “right” and “wrong” when it comes to friends and family. When it comes to the people you love, you want what is best for them at all times and most of the time what is best for them isn’t what is best for you. Everyone has a different path in life to follow. What motivates you, doesn’t necessarily motivate your brother or best friend, even though they might be the closest people in your life. Just like in managing teams, trying to control friends and family by forcing them into my vision will only end in a power struggle. The goal, then, is to encourage them to formulate their own vision and then support their success.
This is where Operation Go Mute comes in, I am working on cultivating more Emotional Intelligence (EI) with Christina Aldan in leadership training. She taught me that you experience 465 emotions in a day and there are 4 parts to EI: Awareness of Self, Management of Self, Awareness of Others, Management of Others. This blog starts my journey and begins with Awareness of Self. Operation Go Mute challenges me to think before I speak, let go of my control issues, and try to retrain my brain for the ultimate goal of regaining my empathy. Operation Go Mute is a tool I use to pause, recognize my physical reactions, and ask myself, “Myself, is my primitive and initial reaction going to positively effect the conversation that I am in at this very moment?” If not, it’s time to implement Operation Go Mute! Let’s see how this goes for someone who is notoriously known for having an opinion on everything. Stay tuned!
Meet Christina Aldan for the first time and you will feel as if you have known her all your life. she is proof that you can Create Your Luck with perseverance and a desire to learn.