There have been times I've been accused of being overly optimistic, but I've never been told that I live on another planet! This weekend I had a fun conversation with one of my coffee shop buddies and it was filled with some little gems that I wanted to share with you.
It was first thing Sunday morning and Larry was reading the newspaper. Of course, it was filled with distressing news and a particularly gloomy weather outlook. As Larry condemned Mother Nature for her selfish outburst and wondered why he was faced with so much negative news first thing in the morning, his energy shifted and signs of stress became apparent. His leg began to bounce, his eyes grew tired looking, and his movements became increasingly animated. I continued to enjoy my coffee, along with a good book. Simple. Sweet. Uncomplicated. Ahhh.
Intrigued by Larry's agitation, I turned my attention away from the novel and asked why snow in Chicago during the month of February was such a bad thing and why he chooses to read stories about things that upset him so much — especially first thing in the morning? Larry's unexpected response was, "Not everyone lives on Planet Pleasant like you do!" Ouch!
But you know what? I like Planet Pleasant. Of course there are things in life that get me down and concern me from time to time. When they do, I feel the impact that they have on my body, mind, productivity level, mood, and overall level of happiness. So why would I choose to worry about the weather and other things that are totally out of my control? But from Larry's perspective I wasn't being a concerned citizen and in touch with what really matters. It was quite an interesting conversation!
Two different people, two different viewpoints, two different response mechanisms. I find the contrasting perspectives fascinating. For me, it's a part of what makes the world such an exciting place; people's ideas, opinions, insights -and even fears - run the full spectrum and I love it! But what was most satisfying is that Larry and I made room for one another's viewpoints and feelings. There was no argument, no judgment -just observation and laughter. We were two strong-minded individuals thinking in two completely opposite languages, yet allowing space for, and honoring, our differences. It felt good.
My Sunday morning experience was a nice reminder that, no matter what planet we live on, it feels good to take the time to listen to what our friends, clients, and family members are saying-no matter what language they speak. To make room for different personality types and understand what makes them tick, instead of trying to change them.
Hello. My name is Marla Tabaka and I live on Planet Pleasant. From what planet do you hail?