I may have been 8 years old.
It was the school lunch break, and it had been raining that day. After chowing down in the cafeteria, we all went outside to play on the rain-soaked playground. Puddles were everywhere. Benches were drenched.
At some point, one of the other kids somehow tricked me into sitting on a wet bench.
The backside of my navy blue Catholic school corduroys was soaking wet, all the way down to my Star Wars underoos.
With my classmates laughing at my expense, I stood right up and beelined my soggy butt straight to the cafeteria to find the school principal. Somebody was gonna pay for this.
“Sister Diana! Sister Diana! Such-and-such made me sit on the bench, and now my pants are all wet.”
Sister Diana looked down at me — in a way that only a nun can look down at a frantic, little boy — and said this:
“Sean, no one can make you do anything.”
She was right. I had no one else to blame but myself. I didn’t have to sit on that bench. I knew it was wet. But I did it anyway.
Thirty years later, I still haven’t forgotten what Sister Diana said to me that day. Because in hindsight I learned one of life’s greatest lessons. I could play the victim and blame others for what had happened, or I could take responsibility and understand that I had a choice in the matter.
It was later on in life — much later, in fact — that I got the 2.0 version of Sister Diana’s wisdom. Not only can no one make me do anything, but no one can make me feel a certain way. My feelings are my own. And to let others control my emotions would be to give up way too much of my power.
No, I’m not perfect at this one. (You should read the ridiculous emails I receive some days.) But there’s power in being aware of the fact that “they” can’t make me do or feel anything. That I’m really doing it to myself.
Today on The Quote of the Day Show, Mr. Jack Canfield shines more light this topic. Plus, you’ll find out his 3 Keys to Growth and the big difference between those who win in life and those who don’t.
Today’s QOD clip comes from Jack’s audio program Maximum Confidence available for instant download on Audible.com.
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