“What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.” ― Plutarch
My wife and I were sitting in a subway restaurant eating lunch this past weekend. The restaurant had those hard yellow bench seats that are connected to each other by the framework they shared. My wife and I were facing sitting across from each other laughing and carrying on when we observed a family of three walk into the restaurant. They bumped into each other as they made their ways to the order counter. Dad’s body indicated that he was slightly out of shape. His flip-flops popped against the heels of his feet as he led his family in. He seemed obsessively attached to his Smartphone. Mom possessed an intellectual appearance. Her hair was up in a twisted bun that appeared to have been blown out of shape by a hurricane. They had a cute little girl with them. She was wearing denim Capri’s, a yellow shirt with Love sewn on it in pink letters, and giant yellow shades. I’ll call her Little Miss. A minute later, I heard Little Miss throwing a temper tantrum. I looked up and saw Mom pointing her index finger in the face of Little Miss. I hoped that the family would sit on the other side of the restaurant because I wasn’t in the mood for all of that. I watched them walk away from the counter with their food. They turned away from us, and they were headed for the opposite side of the restaurant. I smiled. Suddenly they turned around and started walking toward us. My smiled disappeared. Another couple was sitting at the very end of the row we were sitting on, and there were about eleven empty booths between us and the other couple. There were twenty empty booths left in the restaurant. Guess where that sat?
Chu got it mang. They sat right in the booth right next to us and behind me. The bench never quit moving once they sat down. I looked over my left shoulder and caught Mom peeling a tomato off the wall. I heard Little Miss whine that she was allergic to mayonnaise. Then, she whined that she didn’t like olives. My eyes grew three times their original size. My wife said,
“What?” I didn’t say a word to her. I just stood up, moved from my side, and joined her on her side. She laughed at me. We felt vibrations of Little Miss’s feet kicking the bench in our butts. Her mother looked over her shoulder at me, and apologized. I smiled, but it had a hint of seriousness attached to it. Mom looked away, and then she verbally scolded Little Miss with the same force a shy librarian would use. Bang! Our bench shook. I knew everybody felt it because all eyes were on Little Miss. Mom looked over her shoulder at us and apologized again. She seemed more apologetic. I shot her a half smile this time. She hadn’t turned around good, and a black olive bounced off the wall and went splat exactly where I was sitting before I moved. I looked at my wife with an expression of disbelief on my face. She grabbed my arm and squeezed it firm and gentle, which means, keep your behind right in this seat next to me. Well, you know, somebody had to set them straight man. Then something surprising happened. Mom turned into the Hulk, snatched Little Miss up by the waist with her left hand, and held Little Miss’s behind up in plain view. Then, Mom transformed into Elastigirl, pulled her right hand way back behind her, like almost to Georgia, and then, Pop! Little Miss’s shades flew off her face and slid under the bench that was across the aisle from where they were sitting. Oh snap, I thought, and I began to smile. So did the others in the restaurant.
“Sit still! Quit your fidgeting and dancing around!” Mom growled at Little Miss. Little Miss looked at her shades lying on the floor under the bench across the aisle, situated herself in her seat, and folded her arms across her chest. Dad didn’t even look up from his cell phone. I expected the temper tantrum of the century to come about. I expected the formation of a small pond of tears on the floor underneath their seat. But what happened next was curious. Little Miss started moving her head only, in short jerky motions. Oh no, the child is having a seizure, I thought. I began to feel a bit sorry for Little Miss. Dad looked up from his cell phone and asked her,
“What the hell are you doing?” What she said next was simply amazing. I got it. I shared my point of view with my wife and she got it, but her parents didn’t. Little Miss said to her Dad,
“Mom told me to sit still and quit dancing around, so I’m sitting still, but dancing around on the inside.” Little Miss was doing something we all need to make sure we are doing when we are faced with circumstances beyond our control, and that’s separating our mental disposition from the external environment. She wasn’t letting what happened to her dictate her mood or attitude toward what she wanted to do. Granted, she was an ass-cutting waiting to happen, but what she did was awesome.
Forming a negative attitude is dis-empowering, and choosing a positive one is empowering. What we hold within our minds inevitable takes place on the outside. That’s powerful. We have incredible potential within us and don’t even realize it. That three-pound deal called your brain can do wonders. Hold onto your underwear because I’m going to kick you in the pants hard with my next statement. Take the kick though because it will empower you. How you think and feel about what happens to you is because YOU make or allow it to be so. I know. I had to pull my pants back up too when I caught a hold of this. This is important because how you allow yourself to think and feel in any given situation affects your perceived ability to achieve your goal. If you are forever hopeful, you are forever trying. If you are constantly dreary and full of negative disbelieving emotion, then it won’t be long before you are quitting, and quitting something because it’s difficult is true failure. Difficulty should not be a reason to stop doing something. My wife and I have a saying. “We’d rather go out burning out, rather than slipping out because we rolled over and wet on ourselves.” That means, it’s better to miss it going after it, than miss it by not doing anything about it. We developed that attitude because something very serious hit our lives years ago, and that challenge developed us to form that attitude. I believe without even meeting you that you can do your thing and get what you need to get. Little Miss proved it’s possible. Negative society had not had a chance to poison her mind with impossibility. How do you handle negative circumstances that you did not choose? In my opinion, you lose your old mindset by choosing new empowering thoughts, which will lead to empowering emotions, which will lead to empowering actions, which lead to a changed situation.