I’ve made an important discovery. I call it the reality event-emotion vector matrix. I don’t know what that means, but the idea is simple. There are three basic states in which we exist (just like there are three basic food groups, which makes this easy to remember). Life can be completely awesome, boring or awkward.
See? Easy Peezy.
Here’s a little case study I made up:
Let’s pretend you are at work and walking down the hall listening to the Replacements on your portable MP3 player. Completely Awesome.
But then a manager stops you and asks what you are working on, to which you immediately respond with “What are YOU working on?”
And then, to be nice, he/she starts to tell you.
See? Simple! And it totally works!
As a bonus, my research has uncovered that there are really only three basic emotional states: Happy, Angry or Sleeping. These can be overlaid on the event pie chart, but they don’t have to be. Here’s another example, this time with the emotional index added.
You are working on your taxes, and you get confused so you call a guy you know who happens to be an accountant (boring). Your accountant buddy forgot to take some key medication and starts to yell at you about some homestead tax credit nonsense (awkward/angry). You calm the accountant down to the point where he can explain the homestead tax credit nonsense (boring/sleeping). You figure it out while he’s telling a joke (awkward/boring). You realize that you didn’t need to bother your un-medicated friend after all, and that you owe the IRS less than you thought (completely awesome/happy).
This is easily the best self-help tool ever created. In our busy, busy lives, we really don’t have time for complex emotional responses or overly dynamic situational reflexive response triggers. All we need to recognize is that things are either (say it out loud where ever you are right now – it helps reinforce the lesson): COMPLETELY AWESOME, BORING or AWKWARD.