When it comes to my martinis, I prefer them to be shaken. When it comes to my emotions, I’ll take stirred over shaken anytime.
As I get older and continue to have experiences and learn about life, I find that certain things bother me more than they used to when I was younger. There are also plenty of things that bother me a lot less than they used to. The biggest influence on whether something bothers me less than it did before seems to be my own perspective.
It is probably the same for you. While your perspective is likely to be different from mine, you have still developed over time and shaped it based on your own perceptions and experiences.
It stands to reason that if you gain experience on your job, what seemed like a big problem when you first started may now not even register on your list of worries. If you deal with a situation effectively, that same situation is not going to present the same level of concern to you the next time around.
Conversely, you may not have given much thought to your health as a kid or a young adult, but as you age it is natural to pay more attention to it and to even develop concerns that didn’t previously exist regarding an injury or an illness and your ability to recover from it.
I have also noticed that some of the things that bother me more have a cumulative effect. I have been shaken on enough occasions to know that I much prefer to be stirred.
I fully recognize that not all is right in the world and that there are things that I can personally do to try to improve myself and how I perceive and handle those things. I also take steps to ensure that whatever negatives I perceive and whatever issues there are that may upset me are kept in their proper place. In other words, I recognize the negatives, but I focus on the positives, which brings me back to the stirring of emotions.
It is also true that, the older I get, the more I find to be thought provoking, action motivating, and emotion stirring. These are the things that I try to focus on, so here is a partial list of the many things that move me.
Exceptional effort. No matter the vocation or the task at hand, if I witness someone putting forth an exceptional effort to clear a hurdle, defeat the bad guy, achieve an objective, or otherwise make a positive contribution, it stirs my emotions.
Genuine commitment. When I am aware of someone who has demonstrated that they have committed their personal resource and energy to a cause greater than themselves, it grabs my attention.
Invested parents. Parents who take their job seriously and devote themselves to creating and raising children who will grow up to be people who are great friends, neighbors, and citizens inspire me and instantly earn my respect.
Courtesy. A simple thank you for a kind gesture. Holding the door for someone. Being polite. Respecting others, especially those that are older than you. These are all great examples of courtesy and, unfortunately, examples of things that I see less and less of.
Fiscal responsibility. I very much appreciate those that have taken the time to get their financial house in order and then manage it effectively, whether it is an individual, a business, or other organization. Everything from your household to our world society runs better and more efficiently when people make good financial decisions and take that responsibility seriously.
Achievement. If you set goals and then set out to achieve them, you will be a better person. I, too, will be a better person because I will be able to simply focus on my tasks at hand without worrying about carrying your weight as well. When you do your part and I do mine, we’re both stronger.
There are many other things on my list, but I think you get the idea. I try to remember these things, especially when I am shaken by something that causes me concern or worry. When you are on the lookout for inspiration and your heart and mind are open to being stirred, you will always be better suited to absorb and effectively handle the moments that shake you.
What types of things stir you and when was the last time you thought about something meaningful or took action toward something important? If it has been awhile, you may want to consider drawing up a new list or paying a little more attention to what is going on around you.
In the meantime, I’ve got emotions to stir and a martini to shake!
his article is part of Scott Arney's educational series, entitled The Serial Decision Maker.