The Kid in a Theme Park

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The Kid in a Theme Park

“Frustration is the feeling of being blocked from a goal. Although it sounds like a destructive emotion, it can actually be a source of creative fuel. When we’re frustrated, we reject the status quo, question the way things have always been done, and search for new and improved methods. When we are dissatisfied, instead of flight or fight, we invent.”

-Adam Grant

Has your mind ever gone for a stroll in the middle of important work? Did a small stroll turn into a long run along the winding lanes of your life?

Our brain is trained to function most of the time to keep analyzing the past or predicting our future. But whenever we focus on some work at hand, our mind switches gear. But it hardly takes seconds to go back to its default function. That is why even simple distractions, frustrations, or a challenging work environment can cause our brains to distract and cause emotional turbulence. This is in line with the research done by Susan David, Found of the Harvard/McLean Institute of Coaching. She named these modes as default mode networks and direct attention networks.

Our brain is like a kid in a theme park. It will obey you until you keep it busy in fancy rides; the moment you take your mind off, it will run away to the nearest ice cream parlor. But you cannot always be on the rides or keep your child tied to you. 

So how do you control that restless child from running away amid the chaos?

  1. It’s okay to let it run.

Give yourself space and time to accept your emotions. Calm yourself by taking deep breaths. Take a quick walk. Figure out what is causing your feelings and if they are factors under your control. Try to share it with your peers. More often than not, when you look at a particular situation from a different perspective, you might find a solution.

 “Our emotional mind will harness the rational mind to its purposes, for our feelings and reactions– rationalizations– justifying them in terms of the present moment, without realizing the influence of our emotional memory.” ― Daniel Goleman

  1. Alternate roller coasters with carousels

Usually, when you have a massive project to execute, random delays and unreasonable expectations cook your brain. It is vital to prioritize important work and keep aside unnecessary work that may cramp up your day. Divide your work into small tasks. Alternate with quick breaks to replenish your energy. Rather than multitasking, focus your attention on the task at hand. 

  1. Remind him why you came to the theme park

Where do you fall back when the world becomes too much to handle? Your family, right? Similarly, when work becomes overwhelming, try ways to reconnect with your values. If your work aligns with your purpose, reconnecting will help you clear your muddled vision of why you are working and why it is okay to face whatever you face. Falling back to the values gives you courage and strength to handle challenging situations at work.

  1. Look within yourself if you can handle a kid.

No matter the kind of challenges that come your way, if you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses you will be able to handle challenging situations better. You will be able to calm your mind and look within and know that you can handle this situation in the best possible manner. 

We, humans, have created a life that revolves around work. We define our success in terms of perfection. We need to realize that even God makes life with minor flaws. And it is okay. 

We need not run through our lives. Deadlines are human-made. We fail to realize that most of our worries aren’t even immediate. And sometimes, it is okay to tell yourself that you have been working too much lately. And it’s okay to take some time off rather than short-circuiting the wiring of your brain. Have a perspective and allow room for mistakes

“When you’re overwhelmed, it feels like a lot of power and choices are being taken away from you, but you still get to choose who you want to be.”

-Susan David 

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