Guest speaker … “Another tool” …

My name is Homer.  Occasionally I’ll be filling in for the Man of this blog.  I’m a Blog Elf (aka BE).  As BE I’m on call for when the Man is unavailable, and today the Man is being one with the flu.  As he heals he has asked that I share a story … my discovering that joy comes from focusing on what one can and cannot control, and discovering what makes those things you can control feel good.

Though this BE assignment is new, I have some miles under my feet … a significant accomplishment since elves have short legs.  Like the Man, I was raised to take responsibility and make things happen. I took on everything … felt I had to make it all good.  However, there was a subtle secret behind the elfin curtains … that much of what I was owning was not controllable by me.  Somehow I missed that in the BE in-service training.  I failed to recognize that a joyful life comes from focusing on those things I both controlled and found joy in.

Dysfunctional organizations, hidden agendas, silos of internal competition, elves living in anger instead of love … all were outside my influence yet I felt I was responsible for them.  Living this script brought frustration, self-criticism, and a sense that I was failing.  I worked harder thinking more effort would overcome the problems, but I only depleted my emotional and physical resources.  Joy drained from my life, being replaced by a continuing stream of fear, frustration and feelings of failure.  As assignments changed I cycled back and sang the same song once again.  Time after time.  And the stress and sadness over took me … at times to dangerous levels.  And the joy left me.  And fears and bad feelings replaced the cavities created when joy left.  I began to live in fear instead of joyfully anticipating the creativity and excitement that comes from new challenges.  I felt something was terribly wrong … I was scared … I felt it had to change.

Then a recent new assignment (just before becoming a BE for the Man) created an Ah-Ha moment, one that clearly showed me a new choice to make.  A close friend of The Man took me aside and guided me through seeing this new assignment differently … see it more clearly as things I did control and things I did not.  Then they asked me to look at those I controlled and describe how they would bring me joy.  The next day I applied it … reframing my world in these new terms.  I suddenly began to discover the joy lost so long ago.  And to sweeten the joy, I was released of the burden of changing those things for which I have no control.  It was an AH-Ha moment that gave me a tool that I use frequently now in many ways.

It’s been almost a year now and the joy still remains, and the burden remains lifted, and my life is now more joyous.  So on behalf of the Man, this BE offers this tool to add to your box.  It was a game changer for me, and I hope it will be the same for you.  Until The Man calls again …

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