The Conjunction Switch

“Why, then, ’tis none to you, for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” -Shakespeare, Hamlet

“You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this and you will find strength.” -Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

The next time you find yourself about to complain, about to lament some perceived misfortune or bad break, try to catch yourself. Bring awareness to what you’re thinking and see if you can make a single conjunction switch.

Which is…replace “but” with “and.”

For example, let’s say you planned a family trip to Disneyland. You got everything packed, kids are ready to go and you’re about to head out on your drive. You notice it’s raining outside.

Instead of thinking, “Awww crap. We planned this whole fun trip, but now it’s raining.” Which immediately shuts you down and gets you feeling upset or disappointed.

Think “We planned this whole fun trip and now it’s raining.”

What happens?

You’re open to problem solving, possibility, adventure. You spring into action. You might now think about how less crowded it’ll be. More rides! Maybe you get some ponchos or garbage bags. See how much fun you can all have in the rain. Whatever. The point is, you no longer judge external events that are beyond your control. You just flow with them.

There’s a reason the cornerstone of improvisation is “Yes. And….”

P.S. – “Conjunction Junction.”

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