You're at the movie theater. You're all settled into your seat, popcorn in hand, when the following message appears:
"Please turn off your cell phone."
Be honest.... how many times do you actually turn it off?
If I'm being 100% truthful, I *rarely* follow this direction. The screen usually provides a good reminder to me to double check that my phone is on silent, but more often than not my phone usually stays powered on in my pocket.
I'm not here to rat you (or me) out to the movie theater police and I'm not here to promote in-movie use of your phone (which is annoying and disruptive to all).
What I am here to do is point out that sometimes we see a sign - a suggestion - and we act differently.
For many of us, we treat our thoughts and emotions like they are commandments etched in stone. What we should do, instead, is acknowledge those thoughts and feelings and then decide what we are going to do with that information. Sometimes, we need to disregard the sign and act differently.
For example, there are many times when I am tired and don't feel like going to the gym to exercise. Just because those thoughts come in does not mean that they need to dictate my behavior. I know that I need to sweat everyday; it's important for my overall energy level and helps me accomplish all of the other things I'm trying to do on a daily basis.
More often, I believe we need to acknowledge without accepting. Like waves in an ocean, sometimes we need to let our thoughts and emotions roll on by. We can do this by reframing the conversation:
"I don't feel like going to the gym...but I'm going anyway."
"Starting my own business really scares me...but I'm going to take the leap anyway."
"This feels uncomfortable...but I know that's where I grow."
One of the best pieces of advice I've heard comes from Dr. James Gill, who has completed SIX double Iron man triathlons (swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, run 26.2 miles):
"I learned how to talk to myself instead of listen to myself."
Don't believe everything you hear. Sometimes, a signal is not a commandment.