Updated: Aug 11, 2020
Jenn and I averaged around 130 Corporate Training Sessions per year. Most were live events prior to Covid-19; now they are a combination of in-person and Zoom training. One of the few times that Jenn and I did not fly together, I was flying from Vancouver, BC to Calgary, Alberta. As per my normal routine, as the plane was climbing out of the takeoff, I started getting organized because I had a bunch of work to get done on the flight. I pulled out my Bose earphones (don’t you love those ear phones - you never have to hear other conversations) and put them on the empty seat next to me. Then I placed my portable hard drive with everything on it beside my earphones.
Just before I could reach down to retrieve my computer, a bright young executive across the aisle began to talk to me. He was such an interesting guy that by the time we finished our conversation, the plane was starting its descent to Calgary. I never did get my computer out!
The plane landed and since I have navigated Calgary Airport zillions of times, I hurried down to luggage, crossed the street to the rental cars and suddenly, it hit me. I had left my earphones and portable hard drive - with everything on it - right on the seat next to me. Upset and on the verge of angry (at myself), I ran back to Air Canada, filled out the missing items report, and then proceeded to drive to my hotel. All the way, driving downtown, I was vacillating between anger and a “I am sure that someone took them" pity party. Why do we think this way? How does it help us? Why does Future Negative Thinking often come packaged with catastrophic language?
French philosopher Michel de Montaigne’s poignant observation:
“My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.”
And then I remembered. With our Thinking Tendencies Model awareness, I started to laugh because I recognized how long I had been focused in what we call Future-Negative-Thinking, and I know how to Shift! To repeat the words of Michael Jordan in my last blog, "Why would I think about missing a shot that I haven’t taken yet?”
Thinking about the things that were ahead of me, that I could accomplish, I used my conscious mind to re-focus on the things that I knew that i could make happen: a great workout that evening, a healthy dinner, early sleep, up at five, facilitate two great training sessions and a second workout. At 5:30pm the next evening Air Canada left a message on my cell saying: “Mr. Walter we have found both items and will deliver them to your hotel.”
REACTIONAL - I wasted time anxiously ruminating. Can my worrying change the outcome of whether $400 worth of technology can be found or not? Lazy Thinking.
INTENTIONAL - I chose to Shift my focus onto the future that I want, the future that I can control, the future that I can accomplish, the future that I will implement. Laser thinking.
What if I had not recognized my Future-Negative-Thinking? What if I had not been aware of the mindset that was hijacking my energy? What if I had just reacted to life instead of intentionally making the mental Shift? How much energy do we waste by worrying about things that never happen? They could happen, possibly should happen, might happen, but usually never happen.<