Watch the Freak Show — Don’t Join In
Comedian George Carlin, when asked whether he was inclined towards political involvement replied, “No. I just sit back and watch the freak show”. (By the way, I’m not implying that all political involvement is freakish behavior).
Have you ever been in a team meeting where members were angry, oppositional, or trapped by fearful “What ifs”? Collaboration seemed to go down the toilet. Instead, the conflict became personal or political. It got nowhere in solving real-life problems.
· Jump into the swamp and wrestle with the alligators?
· Let your hot buttons be hit resulting in a playground scuffle?
· Run and hide instead of standing your ground?
- Throw a brick at the TV at the idiot of the day?
Any of the above responses would be unproductive. They indicate that you had unwittingly allowed yourself to be dragged onto the stage with the freaks. You give them power they don’t deserve.
That is often what we do with the back seat drivers in our heads? Most of their chatter falls into the category of self-talk devoid of insight. When the boss passes you in the hallway (now on Zoom) with a sour look on her face did you think, “What did I do? Was my project proposal that bad?” How do you know that the ‘look’ is about you? Could it not be that she had a sour stomach after a particularly bad luncheon?
I can be a back seat driver at times. My wife curbs my unsolicited advice with, “Driver’s choice”.
In his brilliant book “The Untethered Soul” High Tech CEO Michael Singer writes,
“To attain true inner freedom, you must be able to objectively watch your problems instead of being lost in them. No solution can possibly exist while you’re lost in the energy of the problem”.
Singer puts his money where his mouth was. During the six turbulent years when his company was under investigation by the Feds (he was exonerated), he recalls that he went to a place of inner peace by not becoming a part of the turmoil.
Make a driver’s choice to free yourself from habitual thoughts and emotions. Instead, revert to your inner observing self. In the end, our thoughts are not the same as our source of inner wisdom. As Singer writes,
“The truth is that most of life will unfold in accordance with forces far outside your control, regardless of what your mind says about it”