It occured to me yesterday as I was waiting for my kids after school, that I had a good many preconceived ideas about how the rest of the day would go. It’s a Monday, I thought, so Julia and Sasha will play a bit, then I’ll prepare supper as Sasha has his viola lesson in the sitting room. Then tonight a meeting with parents and staff about the school’s Christmas fair that I help organise. That’s the Monday routine. It also meant I was anticipating feelings of tiredness, concerns that the viola teacher would see us as neglectful, anxiety that the meeting would feel like a drudge for everyone.
Funny isn’t it? It makes me wonder how many other areas in my life I just assume I going to feel a certain way about. As with other blogs I realise it’s the conciousness of my emotions which becomes a big key to my ability to shift my happiness quotient.
What if I didn’t just assume that I’d feel a certain way about my day-to-day?
What if I didn’t take the past as a valid predictor of my mood?
What if each time I approached a task I assumed that it would be brand new?
What if I deliberately injected something new into the everyday things to make darn sure I never assumed the ‘same ol, same ol”
I’ve decided to invent the term PIB – Preconceived Ideas Busters. Every day I can question whatever feels like an assumption on my part, (Juliette talks too much, parents’ evenings are always nerve-wracking, Gordon is too demanding etc.) and make a deliberate attempt to re-frame those pesky past-based thoughts.
Asking ourselves What If – is a great tool for PI Busting. (“What if I just said No to Gordon?” “What if I invited Gordon for a cup of coffee and found out more about him?”” What if I found Gordon a girlfriend”, “What if I punched Gordon in the mouth” – only kidding!)
Also visualising a completely different outcome – even if its a bit whacky – but just to get used to the idea of seeing things from a different angle. (Gordon and I laughing hilarously at a shared joke, Gordon and I high-fiving the completeion of a job well-done and receiving a medal for team-work). Have fun with it!