I had a pretty bad experience the other day, most of which, I created for myself. I received a parking ticket for stopping in a no stopping zone. I pick up my children every day after school, and at times, there is no place to park. There is a stretch of road, labeled a no stopping zone, where cars stop, ignore the sign, park, and get their kids every day. I’ve been parking here, as a last resort, for the past 2 years.
I finally got caught for not following the “rules of the road”. My car was stopped for no more than 30 seconds before someone came up from behind and put a ticket on my windshield. I was in complete shock, and I choose to get angry.
I instantly decided to translate this experience as an attack toward me and my family. I felt trapped and I perceived the parking enforcement agent as some sort of snake in the bush waiting for pray. It must have been the reptilian part of my brain that took over next.
My lid was flipped. The window rolled down next, and then some yelling. THANKFULLY I did not use any words of hate or any vulgarity. A good habit was present through the mess.
The children arrived afterwards and I forced myself to smile, thus promoting better feelings within my body
Once home in my usual comfort, I started to regret my behavior. As a big believer of karma, I realized that I created future anger coming back at me. I did everything in my mind to try to stop it – especially using a prayer and sending out the right intentions to the universe. I thought that I should send an apology note, but my cousin (on the phone) suggested not to. As a former police officer, he mentioned it could be used against me for an additional fine. So, in my minds eye, I recreated the scene, came face to to face with the individual, and apologized for my yelling. When I did a visual ‘make-over”, I re-lived the scene, with changed behavior.
I eventually decided to disassociate with the negative. I have now seem this situation as positive. It’s positive now, as I can extend this message to others.
This presents a conundrum for a Work Utopia Society – that place where everyone is happy with work. What do you do with all these egos that act within an instant? As you read here, I was clutching onto my ego quite tightly. How about at work? How can you prevent getting upset with people at work?
Think about the other person and put your ego off to the side.
What if, instead….
My car was stopped not even 30 seconds, and a parking enforcement agent came out of nowhere to give me a ticket. As I looked at him, I realized that my good fortune had come to an end. How strange it must be to be standing off to the side, wait for people, and then punish them financially fully knowing that little difference will be made (I say this as people continue to park here and there are no parking enforcement officers anywhere). I can only assume that this person is here because they were told to be here, as it’s been well over a year since a parking officer has been at that place and at that time. What a strange job. I wonder if he has a young family too? Perhaps he gets much needed benefits? I agreed to play this road game once I bought my car. I clearly disobeyed the sign. I better move quickly.
It will take practice to not react instantly. If you make a mistake, forgive yourself, try to make up for it, and re-do the whole thing in your mind. Perhaps, if it happens again, or you are in a similar circumstance, you may make a better choice, avoid creating a negative scene for yourself, and especially, negativity toward the other person.
Alexander Laurin is the Podcaster’s Coach, and the Author of "The Book of Podcasting”. He is the world’s first authentic Podcaster’s Coach, a Certified Podcaster’s & Professional Life Coach with a membership to the International Coaches Federation. Alexander is a proponent of the effectiveness of podcasting as a tool for business & career growth, happiness, meaning, and fulfillment.
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