Keeping your cool isn’t always easy. Life has it’s own way of messing with you by throwing things your way that will test you. Staying calm at those moments where you want to be anything but can be some of the toughest moments of your life. A few weeks ago I wrote on the topic of being unflappable, this post is an extension of that.
This post is mostly for me, it’s a way of reminding myself that I did good with my son earlier, even though I feel drained. Anybody that knows me personaly, my wife, and my youngest son knows that he can be a challenge and this morning he refused to get out of bed and go to school. This wasn’t the typical, “No, I’m tired I want to stay in bed” type of morning. This was the I hate you, throwing clothes, and slamming drawers type of morning. If you’re a parent, I’m sure you can relate.
None of us are perfect and I’m further away from it than most but at times like these I have to remind myself of the bigger picture. It’s easy to forget the rules of engagement at times and go into battle focused on nothing but the win, but when it’s a battle of the heart a win isn’t always a win. A win could mean the loss of a relationship. Of trust. A win could cost you more than you’re willing to lose. Always know what you want the future outcome to be, win or lose, and work towards that.
However, there is something else you must be wary of and that’s the collateral damage that most battles cause. You can be calm during the battle by keeping your emotions in check but when things have finally calmed down and you’ve found a way to keep your cool, it’s the very next interaction you have with somebody else that you must be cautious of. Our emotions are like a coiled spring, they are always ready to expand, shooting off in one direction or another and they have a way of making you say things you regret the moment they come out of your mouth. Like this morning with my wife, after I got my son in the car. I was short with her, my voice had an edge to it and I regretted it the moment I said it. But, I’m a lucky man. I have an amazing wife and although she didn’t appreciate my tone she understood.
Remember that the relationship always comes first. It comes BEFORE the win. It’s the relationship that you want to win, not the battle. Keep that in mind the next time somebody ruffles your feathers.