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What do you want instead?


Going for something is far more effective than going against something.

Whenever we are angry or frustrated with a person, a situation, or job, we will try to get away from it. However, going with a negative emotion is not only very little inspiring, it can also be very misleading.

When we are in rage, when we crave revenge, when we want to get rid of something or somebody, even managing to do so generally does not make us happy. Because originally it is not about that.

Instead of bathing in thoughts of hitting back or running away, ask yourself, “what do I want instead?”. Find a way to phrase it in a positive way. Instead of “I need to get rid of my boss”, find out what exactly you would find satisfying? It could e.g. be “I want a job with a lot of freedom and great colleagues”. Can you feel the difference?

Not only is it easier to act on a positive goal, you generally get to a more satisfactory result.

I am in rage and pain about a family situation that I still find impossible to grasp and accept. It is cruel, sad and unnecessary. I am dreaming of revenge, of turning it around, of going against the people who in my opinion are responsible for it. And yet, I can feel how this creates just more pain, more hatred and more depression on my side.

When I check in with myself what I really want, the answer is crystal clear: I want peace of mind. Period.
Although my emotional undercurrent is still in fighting mode, I know that this is not going to get me what I long for. Fighting, whether I win or not, is not going to give me peace of mind.

When you are unhappy with something, let go of what you don’t want and turn it around: What do you want instead?

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” – Andrew Carnegie 

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