Mom. Can I have a drink?
I really NEED a drink right now.
Ugh! Why not?
You are learning to be like daddy right now. If you have a drink now you will wake up wet.
We have a variation of this conversation EVERY single night. This morning my son woke up earlier than normal and it was still dark. He started negotiating for how he could get his last drink of the night, not realizing it was morning and he could start negotiating for the first drink of the day!
Years ago I read Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. He was a prisoner at the Auschwitz concentration camp. The book details some of the approaches he took to be in control of his mental experience. One line that has always stood out to me was, Once I knew the why, I could deal with any how.
Think about your daily experiences and interactions. How often do you want a reason for what is happening? The idea of doing something arbitrarily (especially something hard) is very hard for us to want to do. If I asked you tomorrow to stay awake all night and walk the whole night through would you do it? Probably not. What if I changed the parameters? If I told you your best friend had cancer, and by walking/ running all night (participating in Relay for Life) you could help encourage her, and raise money to fight cancer, would you participate? What I asked of you didn’t change. The reason for doing it did.
We often don’t get to choose our whys in life. We can, however, choose our hows. We can choose how we respond to adversity. We can choose how we respond to disappointment. We can choose how to be in control of our day. HOW will you make today better?