Happy Friday! The weekend is just hours away. How was your week?
Were you able to emotionally regulate, keep your cool under pressure, manage your frustrations and control any anger?
Each day (sometimes each hour ☹) we can be faced with new challenges, and at times, those challenges can get the best of us. I’ve had some moments like that this week, so when I was searching for some inspiration to write about, I came across a story that spoke to me and I want to share it with you:
“There once was a little boy who had a very bad temper. His father decided to hand him a bag of nails and said that every time the boy lost his temper, he had to hammer a nail into the fence.
On the first day, the boy hammered 37 nails into that fence.
The boy gradually began to control his temper over the next few weeks, and the number of nails he was hammering into the fence slowly decreased. He discovered it was easier to control his temper than to hammer those nails into the fence.
Finally, the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father the news and the father suggested that the boy should now pull out a nail every day he kept his temper under control.
The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.
‘You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.’”
What a powerful visual! We all make mistakes in life. At times, we say and do things that we regret. But, what if we practiced a little more emotional regulation? What if we paused, reflected and really thought about and chose a “reaction” that would be more fitting. Imagine a world in which we all used a little more patience, took a few more deep breaths so that we avoided putting more “nails in the fence”.
Certainly we are human, will lose our temper from time to time and react in ways that if we had slowed down, we would make different choices. Today I throw out a challenge to you: work on building, honing, or cementing the habit of taking a deep breath (before you react), counting to ten (before you respond), or walking away the next time you are feeling frustration, anger, or disappointment.
I believe that incorporating more of this discipline into your life will make a HUGE DIFFERENCE!
Have a GREAT day; have a GREAT weekend