Happy SMART Day Everyone! Today is a great day to talk about the “R” in SMART Living—even if I am temporarily skipping a couple of letters to do it. That’s because the R stands for “Responsible” and one way of being responsible is being “response-able.” That’s right folks, although there are a couple of ways we believe that SMART Living asks us to be responsible…when it comes down to it, unless we are consistently able to respond in a way that creates peace and happiness we will always be susceptible to circumstances, events and other people. Once we take full responsibility for our actions, and yeah it isn’t always easy, then we can decide how we will proceed.
Let me give you a very personal example. A year ago, we bought a new house and completely redid the kitchen. I did a lot of research finding a perfect refrigerator (or so I thought!) I liked the look of a particular Samsung with a bottom freezer and saw that I could buy it at a good price. It also had great reviews.
About one hour ago, I went to the fridge to get some lunch and imagine my surprise when I saw that it was completely dark inside. I had obviously used it early in the morning and noticed nothing wrong. Why wasn’t it working? And what to do?
I first went to the manual that offered absolutely no advice if the refrigerator was completely dark. Thom checked the circuit breakers and even plugged it into a plug we knew was working. Nothing. I then looked at my paperwork and saw that the one-year warranty on the product expired 10 days ago. That’s right, even though the refrigerator wasn’t even delivered until 6/20/10; the date of purchase was the date the warranty was put into effect.
I went online and found that there was nothing we could do but make a service call and naturally, it would be at our entire expense. To make matters even worse, the fridge was stuffed full of food. Waiting was not an option.
Now I don’t know about you but this type of situation has the potential to wreak havoc on the mind. Or, maybe a warranty/refrigerator/needed repair issue doesn’t ruffle your feathers, but something your kids did, or your spouse does, or your boss insists on is something that causes your wiring to explode. What I’ve found is that every one of us has a “hot-button” for something, and if it gets pushed we can potentially freak out and ruin the entire day, week, month, life if we let it take over.
The thing about hot buttons is, we get to make them up. Even if I get a bunch of you to agree that it is completely unfair and horrible that my one-year old refrigerator went out, in the end I am the one who decides if it is a major catastrophe or a minor inconvenience. It’s the same with your hot buttons. While we all might commiserate with you about something awful, the person being harmed the most by negative feelings and emotions is the one who keeps repeating them—and in the case of your hot-buttons that would be you. When I, or you, refuse to hold that button down, we are being response-able. We are deciding that our peace of mind, our joy, our happy and wondrous life is more important than that issue.
Okay, it sounds simple but it isn’t necessarily easy. I’ll admit that if my finances were tight I would have a lot more to grumble about. If I had a regular job and came home from work to find my fridge out and my food spoiled, that might have been another challenge all together. Luckily, thanks largely to Thom’s cool and quick reflexes—we had a repairman here within an hour who was able to fix it and getting it cooling again for $100!!! That’s right! Only $100.
The lesson in all this, and let’s face it, there is a lesson in just about everything we do, is that this “event” had but a tiny repercussion—and most of the things we fuss about do. Granted, once is a while something huge happens that takes days, weeks or longer to resolve, or something that is physically or mentally painful. But even then, there are stories of people who have overcome even the most horrendous odds and lived happy, balanced and contended lives. We do make it up.
Actually, one of Thom’s quotes has always been: “Every day we can choose to be happy, loving and to live life to its fullest…remember, you get to make it up!”
Living a SMART Life every day of the year means that we take as much responsibility for our thoughts and emotions as we can. Today I did pretty good. What about you?