"The process of delving into the black abyss is to me the keenest form of fascination." — H. P. Lovecraft
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When the unexpected happens we can be tempted to react by default by becoming frustrated. I know that for me this is often the case while driving my car! (Something that I like to call "situational negativity").
However the situations also provide the opportunity to instead respond by design by choosing to be fascinated rather than frustrated. The key distinction is important:
A fundamental daily practice for choosing fascination is to first recognize when we're slipping into frustration. You'll be amazed at the ease with which frustration can slip into our day once you make the conscious choice to recognize it. When you recognize it, take note of the circumstances that lead to the frustration; create a sort of mental log of the moments that grind your gears. Overtime you'll come to recognize the variables that lead to your brand of frustration so you can anticipate it and prepare yourself accordingly.
Once you catch yourself on the edge of frustration—maybe it's an increased heart rate, an eye roll, a few choice harsh words, or maybe you've even started yelling—whatever the case, from here you have the choice to feed the frustration and let it take over, or you can choose to take a mental step back and practice the art of fascination.
In the car example we can take a moment to breathe when someone cuts us off, giving ourselves the benefit of oxygen, and giving the fellow driver the benefit of the doubt that they perhaps just didn't see us. Or maybe they're in the midst of a medical emergency. Or maybe they just received bad news and their mind isn't in the right place. Or maybe they're in a situation like Sandra Bullock was in that time she found herself in the movie where she had to keep the bus going over 50 miles per hour. You just never know what kind of fascinating situation these other people may be in!
At the very least, choosing fascination has the power to maintain stride even in stressful situations, and at the very most it helps in finding unique solutions to the everyday problems that surround us.
Jonas Cain is an educator, facilitator, and coach, working to engage, empower, and encourage leaders and the people they serve to experience joy.