Only allow yourself to experience emotions that help you.
Think about it. It’s kind of like clothes. You can wear anything you want. Would people respect you more if you wore a suit every day? Maybe. Maybe not. But if they did, would you then respect yourself more?
If you get sad a lot, if you get angry a lot, if you complain a lot, if you talk about your own problems a lot, that’s what you’re putting out into the world. And what happens? Nothing good. You just make it slightly worse for those around you.
And, much more importantly, you make everything worse for yourself–you unintentionally prevent yourself from doing what you actually want to do, which is be happy and successful.
(Once my friend said she didn’t invite me to a party because she “wanted it to be fun.”)
And it’s usually just a series of random circumstances which have made some of us develop patterns like these.
So I have done this before, and it has helped a lot. I’m gonna do it again, and you’re welcome to join me. July is my birthday month, so this can be your gift to me.
All you have to do is, for the month of July, when something bad happens, or even whenever you just feel vaguely crappy for no reason like every damn day when you wake up, just go, “Oh, wait, no, I’m doing that thing with Ryan for July,” and don’t wallow in those feelings. Don’t dwell on them. Become buoyant. “Oh, anger? Nah, I have to wait till August for that.”
If you are in an utterly awful situation, which will probably happen, you can ask yourself this question: “What’s great about this?” Find something. There will be something.
A surgeon in the ’50s noticed that, after a nose job, it took 21 days for his patients to get used to their new faces. Or 21 days to no longer sense a phantom limb.
That’s why Covid became so normal so fast. On average, it only takes 21 days.
So, yeah, you guessed it, the point is that when August comes, you will have built up a new habit by then that benefits you, and you won’t actually go back to feeling or thinking as many negative things as you did before.
But, either way, couldn’t hurt. So I’ll send a line or two as a reminder in these emails in July.
See you next week,