Curbing my “intensity” has long been one of my personal/professionally growth goals and it is SO easy to fall for the “argue for your weakness and it is yours!” trap. The word “easy” flows out of my stream of consciousness and as I type it my Buddha mind says to me “your mind/body hears and believes everything you say, you just programed yourself… did you really want to do that?”

I “argue for my weakness” when I say to myself I’m intense because I CARE; I’m intense because I’ve sent my organization the same message multiple times and the behavior has not changed, the situation has not improved and I’m FRUSTRATED! I’m not being heard!

While the above may or may not be true, it is probably not to be the “highest leverage point” i.e. the most effective way to both talk to myself and approach the situation and above all else I want to be effective!

The rational/effective approach would be to:

1) Ask myself “Why?” Why am I not achieving the desired result? What systems, rewards, patterns etc. exist that lead to this outcome (Every system is perfectly aligned to deliver the results it does) and instead of increasing driving forces, seek first to understand and focus on removing restraining forces.

2) Stop programing myself in ways that create the “fumes”, the emotional mindset/worldview, that provide the fuel for a heated response when I encounter a trigger event. A trigger event is nothing but a fuse. The explosive, the dynamite, comes from the not-so-positive/effective ways I’ve mulled over in my mind about “the way things should be”, “how many times do I have to say the same thing?”, “why don’t they listen?”, “it’s so obvious”, “it’s just common sense” etc. etc.

Though they are certainly under my control, I don’t consciously “choose” to think them, they are background chatter, the monkey mind running endless loops on automatic. The key is to increase my awareness, to take back control, to substitute more positive loops that focus my energy in more effective, uplifting directions and do not build up negative fumes of frustration just waiting for a trigger event to act as a fuse.

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier