Mental Maps, Attitude, and Diligence


200It is Saturday afternoon and after a little time in the pool killing wasps that wanted to share the pool, I had some time to think about the frustrating obstacles we face along the way.  For instance, as much as I tried to avoid the wasps, I thought maybe my attitude and diligence to avoid the wasps would get some mileage at overcoming the flying source of frustration.

However, I soon discovered that, the source of the frustration was not the lack of the right attitude about peaceful co-existence about the wasps, but how I had mapped out the idea that I could share a pool with a swarm of wasps.  I thought, if I leave them alone, they would do the same.  As I soon learned, sometimes the little maps created in our thinking are encoded with the wrong information.  Earlier I was reading in Covey (2004) who indicated that everyone tends to think about obstacles in two ways, “the way things are, or realities, [or] the way things should be, values” (p. 24).  There are times when we give in to circumstances because we cannot see past the obvious. 

As I discovered, one of the problems with looking at things as they appear, or how they should be, is that we usually believe that the way we see things is the way things really are or should be. Unfortunately, a people believe many things passionately that simply are not true.  Consequently, beliefs that people hold about what they see as, “realities or what should be” in life can be misleading.

Therefore, when we face obstacles, our assumptions about life events, like swimming with wasps, generally muster up an attitude to embolden a response to manage frustrating obstacles without ever getting out of the pool because that is our comfort zone.  In addition, if perception impairment sidetracks thinking in effective ways; then, we run the risk of an unpleasant engagement with the wasps we will have to face.

What I discovered is that an anxiety driven response could not change the momentary crisis created by aggravating wasps.  As long as the impending sense of concern about the wasps polarized the moment, the feeling of aggravation only made the experience more frustrating.  As I soon understood, there are times when we just need to change not only what we see about obstacles, we need to change what we think and do about frustrating obstacles.  Then, just get out of the pool and spray them with hornet spray because it did not matter how positive that I was and no matter how much I believed that this should not be, I had to change my thinking and get out of the pool to remove the frustrating obstacles.

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