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How to Choose the Best Outcome
(when something happens in your day that you don't like)

"One of Four":

Which choice will help you feel calm, collected and enable you to respond with clarity
when “stuff” happens?

Image by Tengyart

Image courtesy of Tengyart

Practice "One of Four" as a way to respond when something or someone “pushes your buttons,” or something affects you and you feel annoyed, irritated or upset.

Initially, practice One of Four by reflecting on a past incident where you became upset, so you can get the hang of it through reviewing what you could have done differently. Very soon, with practice, you’ll be able to make your choice very quickly, as soon as you realise your buttons have been pressed. Before you know it you’ll feel happier and more in control of every day.

The One of Four method

OK. Think about this: Whatever happens, when you’re upset (even a bit) by something and wish it were different, there are only FOUR OPTIONS available to you :

  1. React in the way you've always done and maybe feel cranky or upset

  2. Consider - can you change it? If so, how? And would this be your best choice?

  3. Can you remove yourself from it? Maybe? If so, would that be best?

  4. Accept it as it is? If you choose “no” for the first 3 options, then this is not only

    the best choice for you at that moment, it is your only option. So choose it!

Options 1 and 4 are not the same. The value of asking yourself these questions is that instead of allowing your emotions to be in charge you have taken control of how you have responded to the situation! This is actually very empowering and feels good! It also takes the “heat” out of the situation for you, knowing that you have chosen the best outcome for you given whatever is happening at the time. Perhaps none of the options may have been ideal- but even if you have chosen to react in the way you always have done and feel cranky or upset, at least you have acknowledged to yourself that you had a choice and this is what you chose this time.

Image by Daria Volkova

Image courtesy of Daria Volkova

The power of choosing option 4 - acceptance, is that acceptance as a conscious choice is energetically very different from reacting with frustration or anger, even though neither choice has “solved” the issue. To automatically react with (sometimes quite powerful and/or out of control emotions) is unpleasant and may make the situation for you even worse.

Choosing to accept whatever it is that “pushed your buttons” is about taking control of YOURSELF (the only thing you actually can control), which is empowering and allows you the opportunity to do something to help yourself. Once you have accepted it, you have stopped trying to RESIST it and can instead focus on doing something to make that acceptance easier. You may choose to take some slow, deep breaths or follow a relaxation exercise such as tensing the muscles in your legs for the count of 5 and then relaxing them completely. It’s up to you.

 

You are in control of yourself :)

Here's a range of scenarios to show how this works:

Scenario  

 

You only have time for a short break and the queue for coffee is taking too long.

Consider each option and choose:

  1. Do you want to react in the way you've always done and maybe feel cranky or upset?

  2. Are you able to change it? Not really. Barging to the front of the queue and demanding to be served next is unlikely to be worth the fallout.

  3. Remove yourself? Well, maybe this is it- have water from the cooler instead? Maybe use the time to take a short brisk walk to shake off the cobwebs rather than standing still waiting for coffee?

  4. Accepting it? You could also choose this option. Stand in line and wait. Relax your shoulders, maybe plan tonight's meal and accept that you will need to go straight back and drink the coffee at your workstation.

Whatever you choose, by making it a conscious choice you are taking control of your feelings rather than allowing them to control you.

Scenario

 

You are driving in heavy, slow moving traffic and someone cuts in front of you, almost causing a collision.

Consider each option and choose:

  1. Do you want to react in the way you've always done and maybe feel cranky or upset?

  2. Can you change the situation? No. It’s already happened and can’t be undone.

  3. Remove yourself? Not really. You are in your car stuck in traffic

  4. Accept it? Well, once again, this may not be easy, but acceptance is probably

    the only option for this one. Remember, acceptance as a conscious choice is energetically very different from reacting with frustration or anger, even though both involve remaining in the car, waiting in the traffic. To automatically react with powerful emotions (shouting, swearing under your breath, possibly banging the steering wheel) is unpleasant and would usually make the situation for you even worse.

Whatever you choose, by making it a conscious choice you are taking control of your feelings rather than allowing them to control you.

​Scenario

 

You’re late for work and your car won’t start. It often struggles to start on winter mornings.

Consider each option and choose:

  1. Do you want to react in the way you've always done and maybe feel cranky or upset?

  2. Can you change the situation? Although this can’t help you to get to work right now, you could make the decision now to ask a mechanic to take a look or even get a different car later, if that’s possible and you want to.

  3. Remove yourself? You could use different transport right now to get yourself to work. Perhaps you could call in a favour from a friend or call a taxi?

  4. Accept it? You can consciously choose this option and accept your car's lack of reliability, but be sure to make it an actual conscious choice rather than seeing it as “no choice”. The reason is that once you accept that the car may not always start, you can make sure you have an alternative in mind such as knowing the bus timetable and you have made the choice.

Image by Faye Cornish

In making these choices you are taking control of your own life.

Image courtesy of Faye Cornish

YOUR TURN....

Think about a recent incident that upset you.

Follow the steps using the examples as a guide.

Do this with a friend if it helps.

Contact me if you are stuck and would like extra help.

By the way, ACCEPTANCE (which requires insights similar to those needed for forgiveness) can sometimes be extremely difficult.

 

Persevere, it gets easier with practice!

Accepting the really challenging things in life requires more focused inner work than this exercise. Consider booking a mentoring session with me or undertaking one of my programs if you would like support :) The more you practice, the easier and quicker the options will come to you.

Well done! You are now choosing how to respond to life around you!

Much love, Akashi

© Soaring High 2021

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