It seems whenever I leave my apartment “early”* to go to work–it never fails that there is a metro issue. Today, I’ve been sitting at the metro for over 30 minutes watching the sign change from no listing, train listed but no time, train listed at 17 minutes until arrival and then back to nothing. All these changes as more and more commuters and tourists fill the metro platform.
I’m watching a lot of people standing around vocally complaining or giving off body language signals that show that they are upset and/or antsy. I’ve learned that getting stressed doesn’t fix a problem (for me) instead it compounds a problem so sitting calmly takes no effort to me on morning like this. Therefore, I’m sitting and people watching, and I see that most people are on their phones texting, reading e-mails or the web, while others are talking on the phone.
If I could reframe the situation for the impatient and upset I’d say, “hey, if we are all going to be stuck here aren’t you glad we are at least stuck on a platform with a strong cell signal?!”
Why are some (most?) brains programmed to first tap into our negative feelings about a situation? What makes it so that individuals have to work to find the positive frame? Is this an american frame of mind? Does this occur in other cultures and/or countries? What causes me to believe that others think that way? Am I the only person that immediately jumps to the negative frame? Do I just to positive frames more often and not just realize that I’m doing it? Could it be beneficial that I at least notice when I have a negative frame so that I can reframe? Could I work harder to notice when I have immediate positive frames, just as I do with the negative, so that I can still challenge my assumptions in a situation?
After over 40 minutes of sitting here, the train finally pulled up, crowded. Now I’m watching everyone participating in the cattle call–trying to stuff themselves on an already crowded train. I cannot begin to imagine how that could make for a better day, but I don’t know their stories. Some may be in a rush to go nowhere, some to a boring meeting they most likely didn’t want to attend in the first place. But who knows, maybe someone is off to see their only daughter get engaged and this delay has thrown a wrench in their plan.
All I know is that you get to choose how you feel. A negative and/or dejected attitude won’t make a train to come faster and it definitely will not make you paper thin so that you can fit into that small space left in the metro door. Usually it just leads to a broken frame in which everything and/or everyone is wrong following that initial “trigger”.
Be powerful. Take the time to reframe. Create the day you want to have. You get to choose!
*please note that the term early is subjective in my world. 🙂 #wishyouworkedhere