“Things Happen FOR us, not TO us.” Unknown

  • Like the author (unknown) of this quote,  as an event is unfolding we actually have no idea at all WHY it is happening.  Of course that won’t stop our minds from making up a story of one sort or another.  But as you may have already surmised, thinking “things are  happening for me” leads to a very different story and feelings, than than “things are happening to me.”  “For me” can lead to Christmas morning feelings,  like positive expectancy, curiosity and openness.  Things are happening “to me” can lead to self-protection and contraction,  feelings and thoughts like suspicion, concern and worry.  

    The emotional intelligence research tells us that what we say only counts for 7% of what people hear when we talk.  But how we are feeling and thinking, accounts for the other 93% and shows up in our tone of voice (38%) and our non-verbal behaviors (55%).  It follows then that “to me” stories create an energy of contraction and worry that diminishes us and our messages/communication to others.  And of course, “for me” stories create a sort of “brainstorm” atmosphere that is fun, joyful and creative allows for the flow of meaning as well as ideas.  This is exactly the kind of atmosphere that today’s individuals AND organizations most need to stay competitive and thrive.

    When we are caught in “to me”, a good exercise to move into “for me” is  The Wonders Consultancy “13 things” exercise.  Sit down and make a list of 13 reasons that this thing that is happening, is actually a benefit to you in some way.  For example, let’s say that you tend to be someone who gets anxious when people you care about distance from you.  Maybe you take that personally.  Or feel rejected. Or tend to blame or criticize yourself, and create a story you caused their behavior.  AND let’s say you have recently decided that you want to change this pattern.  Now, two of your friends are incommunicado.  One way that is a benefit to you is you get to practice new neurological patterns or calming yourself and not chasing after these two friends.  Of trusting that it is not at all about you and at some point you will understand and discover that they had other things pressing on them.  Therefore,  one reason that friends being incommunicado is a benefit to you,  is that you are learning not pursue others!  Another reason is you are learning to stay in the moment and not create stories about other people’s intentions.  A third reason this is “for you” is that you are getting to learn not to take others behaviors personally. 

    So, I gave you 3, now find another 10!   It may well take that much effort to get your strategic mind to let go and trust!

    April 15th, 2014 | admin | Comments Off on “Things Happen FOR us, not TO us.” Unknown | Tags: , , , , , , ,

About Nancy


Nancy C. Wonders is an interior designer. The “interiors” she designs are psychological, not physical, space -- a client’s personal interior landscape, or the emotional barometer of a team, or an entire organization. Nancy’s office includes a “design bar” where clients have a chance to re-invent how they see themselves and/or their organizations. These re-structurings result in discovering what is fresh, new and alive. This discovery prompts profound, immediate change, on both the inside and in interactions with others. Read more»

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