This small change makes me a kinder person

Do you ever catch yourself acting like the kind of person you really don’t like?

Happened to me recently, and it reminded me of a simple (and easy) change that can really help.

It’s a pretty specific story, but the lesson can apply in a bunch of ways.




    • Quick story of a moment when I was, shall we say, not at my best. :-)
    • The profound effect impatience can have on our state.
    • A simple solution that makes a big difference.
    • Watch/listen to get the full message.


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    Finished: Inward, by yung pueblo. Met the author at an event, read the book overnight. He’s a big Instagram presence. The book is a collection of posts plus comments. Quite good, actually. Poetic. Very heart centered.
    The Reckoning, John Grisham. Super disappointed with this. I love Grisham normally but this was very unsatisfying. Not recommended.

    Next, sampling Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer. Have enjoyed other books of his. Cautious, though, because he can get a little soap-opera-ish.

    [ transcript ]
    Hey, it’s David Levin. Author of Raise Your Inner Game, co-author QBQ, the Question Behind the Question, Founder of Raise Your Inner Game Academy.

    Do you ever catch yourself acting like the kind of person you really don’t like?

    For example, an impatient jerk? :-)

    Happened to me recently at the airport.

    I was heading to my plane when I got stuck behind a man using a walker.

    It only lasted for a moment, but I noticed myself getting frustrated, Come on, let’s go. You’re in my way.

    I didn’t say anything, thankfully. But I felt it. And the funny thing was, I wasn’t actually in a hurry. I had plenty of time to make my flight. I just didn’t like having to break my pace. So I mentally lashed out at him. What the heck, old man. Get out of my way.

    So stupid. And embarrassing.

    Now, for some perspective. This was a tiny, fleeting moment. It was not a big struggle. And I would never act out in a situation like that, even it was a big struggle. I’m way too reserved and polite for that. So this is not me needing anger management training, or anything like that.

    But it was interesting and helpful to observe the effect the moment had on me, and the kind of person I was being.

    The appropriate reaction to someone struggling with a walker is compassion and kindness. Right? And maybe even admiration. That’s got to be a lot of work, both physical and emotionally. And what if it was my father? How would I feel then? What if it was ME, which it very likely could be at some point? How would that feel?

    Bottom line, there was a ton of reality and humanity on display there, and I’d like to think I’m the kind of person who would be attuned to that. And much of the time, I AM that kind of person. But in that moment, I wasn’t. Right then, it was all about me.

    So that was the big message for me. Being in a hurry, like I frequently am, turns me into the kind of person I really don’t want to be. It makes me insensitive. Judgmental. Childish. Arrogant. Entitled. Really, the OPPOSITE of who I want to be. So I’m going to be better about watching out for that.

    And the solution, fortunately, or at least one solution, is incredibly simple. Just don’t schedule everything down to the minute. Give myself a little more time between appointments. If it’s something nearby, leave two minutes sooner. If it’s the airport, leave a half an hour sooner or even an hour sooner. It’s not like I’m that focused with all my time anyway. I waste plenty of time during the day. And I can always find things to do with the extra time once I’m there.

    So that’s what I wanted to share with you today. Hopefully you’re not as susceptible to impatient syndrome as I am, but if you are, try giving yourself a little more time between appointments. Consider it an investment in your happiness. 2 minutes to lower your stress and be a kinder, more compassionate person. That’s a pretty good deal.

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