Men are disturbed not by things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen.
How much of what worries you is real?
When you are stressed, ask yourself yourself if it is real and has happened or your imagination of what could happen. If it is not real, imagine what you want to happen and how you want to be.
One day a terrified medical assistant rushed into my office to tell me about a call she received. Deputy Marshall Smith from the Superior Court of Los Angeles told her that I had a civil citation due to failing to report for jury duty.
I needed to immediately report to the Superior Court or send an attorney there or I would be arrested! I didn’t remember failing to report to jury duty but it was possible. Could there have been a notice I missed? Sure. Could they have sent it to the wrong address and I never got it? Absolutely.
This deputy called my work several times as my staff became frantic that I was going to be arrested. They developed a plan to send me out the back door while they delayed the officer coming to arrest me in my clinic. Everyone was stressed. The picture of the police interrupting me and a patient in an exam room and escorting me in handcuffs downtown weighed in the back of my mind.
When I had a break, I called some of my attorney friends. They told me it would be unusual for a city employee to contact a workplace or visit to arrest me. It was probably a scam. After more research, I realized that the calls were fraudulent. I reported it to the State of California Attorney General. Nothing ever happened. Besides fear and panic from a stranger telling us lies.
But I found it so interesting in retrospect. Why do we let strangers affect how we feel? How can someone we don’t know, respect or care says something that changes us from happy to sad or safe to scared?
It was crazy that I let someone I didn’t know cause me stress and become a distraction. I was reminded how important it is to give strength and power to the people that I value and remove it from who I don’t rather than mindlessly receive and react to whatever is thrown at me. We live in a time of an endless barrage of unfiltered dumping of commentary and manipulative marketing.
My vow at Q4DI is to only provide content that wakes you up, provokes reflective thought and catalyzes intentional action toward positive change. What do you think?