I love this acronym~W.A.I.T.~What Am I Thinking.
I usually put both a question mark and an exclamation point at the end of that sentence; What Am I Thinking?! (Can you hear me questioning and scolding myself at the same time?) It’s a way to redirect my thoughts when I catch myself going off track
Here’s an example I think many of us can relate to:
It’s Monday morning, 8AM. The house is a mess. The dirty laundry is piling up. Not only didn’t the kids make their beds, they left wet towels on the bathroom floor and their breakfast dishes on the table. Oh, and one of them forgot their gym shorts (or lunch or homework or permission slip), which means I’ll be making an unplanned trip to the school.
If I’m not careful, here’s what I might be thinking:
“Ugggggghhhhhh~ This house is a MESS! I wish I’d done the laundry over the weekend! Why can’t the kids just put their darn dishes in the dishwasher? I’ve totally spoiled them! How gross that they don’t even hang their towels up after their showers~what’s wrong with them?! I can’t even believe they forgot their lunch…AGAIN! I should just let them go hungry, THEN they’ll learn! By the time I finish cleaning up, it’ll be time for them to come home and make another mess! I never have time for myself~Ugggggghhhhhhh…….”
Earl Nightingale, one of the great leaders of personal development, summed it up nicely when he said “we become what we think about.” If that’s true, and I believe it is, then it’s our responsibility to think about what we want; not what we don’t want, not what we don’t have, not what we’re worried or frustrated about ~what we want! If I keep going with the above thinking, guess what? By the time I get done cleaning up, the kids will be home again and chances are very good they are going to start making a mess again.
Some will debate it’s impossible to think about what they want when in the midst of a very real reminder of what they don’t want. The wonderful truth is it is possible and it’s actually much easier than you might think. The hardest part is catching yourself. As soon as you do, remind yourself to WAIT~What Am I Thinking?! Then you can shift your thinking to better thoughts such as “although my kids aren’t the neatest, they sure are the sweetest” and “I’m grateful I have the flexibility to do laundry today and I’m glad I don’t have to do it in a laundromat” and “I’ll have this house picked up in no time and then I can do what I want to do with the rest of the day…..” Get the idea?