Are you mad, frustrated, tired, or turned on? If so, then I have a question for you ….
How do you know??
I mean, who is it that’s paying attention to notice when you’re having a feeling or experiencing a certain mood? Isn’t that the real you?
I first learned about this technique when I was trying to stop myself from arguing so much with my girlfriend (who’s now my wife, so I guess I can say it worked!). I can’t remember where first I heard about it, but the essence of it was: pay attention when you get angry and ask yourself, “who’s angry?” If the answer is, “me!” then ask, “but who asked the question?” It takes about one-tenth of a second to realize that it’s not you that’s angry, but some part of you that you don’t necessarily have to validate at that moment.
Turns out the same technique works great in the martial arts world. When you’re in the middle of sparring and find yourself getting frustrated or tense, ask yourself, “what do I want more, to experience this feeling or to get better?” For me, the answer is always, “to get better,” and as soon as I ask the question, I’m able to revert to sparring using the eyes of my “true” self – which is much less competitive but a lot more capable than the ego-driven part of my personality.
I think this technique can work in just about any area of life. Have you ever experienced anything like this?