Change your thoughts and attitudes – There are certain cause-and-effect relationships in life. If you jump off a fifty-story building, for example, you’re not going to live. If you put your hand on a burning stove, it’s going to hurt. If you put a giant cork at the bottom of a lake, it’s going to rise to the surface. These are laws of nature.
Most of us, treat every day events – traffic, hard work, conflict, mistakes, being criticized, and so forth – with a similar cause-and-effect relationship. We assume that these events must cause stress and grief in the same way that fire causes a burn. Events like traffic are assumed to cause upset. Being criticized is supposed to make you feel defensive. Making a mistake is going to lower your spirits, and so forth. The reason we make these erroneous assumptions is because we think the traffic or other stressor is causing our stress, while in actually it does not.
Imagine many people stuck in a traffic jam. A vast majority of these people had just finished work. All of them were probably tired. They were in the same traffic jam, delayed for the same amount of time. So, if the traffic were actually responsible for our negative reactions, then it would logically follow that the traffic would affect everyone in the same way. It doesn’t.
Understanding this concept can open the door to a whole new way of looking at life and the minor irritations and hassles we all must face. We can’t often change our immediate circumstances – but we always have the ability to change our thoughts and attitudes.