How you handle the small things

Think of the smallest of annoyances you might encounter in the early parts of today. Perhaps minor aggravations at home as you get ready for work. Or during your commute. Imagine 3 or 4 of these and feel how each one gets you ever more tense.

Now imagine being presented with more serious issues at work throughout the morning. You start feeling overwhelmed. You don’t have time for lunch. Then, mid-afternoon, a colleague you dislike makes a mistake that will force you to stay late and miss dinner with the family. Frustrated, you make a comment you probably should not have made. Everyone grows quiet. You regret it immediately.

Of course, you’ll apologize. You’ll say you don’t know what came over you. Or, if you can connect the dots, you’ll explain how you had a series of mishaps during the day that led to this tiny explosion. And that’s all good, except that it won’t prevent the next outburst.

The trick is to be mindful when you face those early annoyances and laugh them off. Be mindful of them and be mindful of how you let them go. Make it a practice. Start small and then tackle bigger issues. Train until you are that person in the office who stays calmest under pressure.

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