You Find What You Bring With You - Grasshopper
Have you ever gone out to eat with someone who finds fault with every restaurant you go to? They were upset before they arrived and are hard pressed to see it's not the bill of fare that has, as my sainted mother said, "their ass in an uproar."
I found out many moons ago that if I went to a social gathering expecting to be entertained, it wasn't going to happen unless I brought entertainment with me.
Do you know someone who you can predict will display a flash of anger even at the tamest of get-to-gethers? They brought their upset with them and they will find a reason to display it.
If you walk in with an "agenda," that agenda will leak out and sometimes explode. I'm reminded of a phrase I learned from Dr. Robert Anthony: "You're never upset for the reason you think." I may quibble with the word "never" but, by and large, I find his assessment to be accurate.
The best story I ever heard that illustrates that you find what you bring with you is one I've told many times. A car pulls up next to a farmer tending his crop and the driver asks, "Can you tell me what kind of people live around here because I'm thinking of moving to the area?" The farmer asks, "What kind of people are there where you currently live?" The driver says, "They're a bunch a back-biting scoundrels." The farmer responds, "Well, my boy, that's the kind of people you're going to find here too." A few minutes later another driver pulls up and asks him the same question and the farmer asks him, "What kind of people are there where you live now?" The driver says, "They're a kind, neighborly type of folk." The farmer then says, "Son, that's the kind of people you're going to find here too."
What are you bringing to the picnic? You may want to do an assessment before you go otherwise you'll bring your ants in tow.
My teacher, Dr. Dave Dobson used to counsel to check your belief system at the door. He said you could always claim it on your way out if you wanted to.
If you bring a gun to a party, there's a chance it could go off. If you check it at the door, you can spend your unarmed time finding some other things to explore. You will guard against a good time if you bring a bad time with you.
If you can't bring good cheer visiting someone in the hospital, stay home. It may be a little rough to hear this, but people don't want your agenda. As actress Uma Thurman says, "Save your drama for your mama."
If you bring a hammer, everything will look like a nail. Notice what you're about to bring to an interaction. Will it add or detract? Once you determine those two things, you'll have a better handle on what you're going to find.
All the best,
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