Valerie Kent’s Five-Year Rule to Peace and Calm
There was a time when I would become upset, angry and worried when things were not going well in my life, when a person would get upset with me, if words were said to me that were disrespectful, unfair, ungracious or just rude, often for no reason.
I would react angrily when deflected anger was directed at me and I am sure you have had that experience. Someone was angry with another person and you were conveniently (or unfortunately) in direct firing range and you got the full blast of something that had gone wrong for that person somewhere else and really had nothing whatever to do with you.
Examples of this might be a young person who could have had a confrontation with a parent or teacher, in fact, this young person may have been your child; it could be a driver who is late and you are not…road rage. A partner was upset because something was not completed that had been asked of you, but no one waited for an explanation before the fireworks began…
There can be so many triggers in our busy world: a person deemed working too slowly serving a client in a store, a coworker snapping at us, being carelessly bumped into on the street, a ding left by a vehicle that has disappeared, an derogatory statement by a boss at work, someone finding fault with you. Little irritations and larger issues, we need to deal with them all, and often several on the same day.
What to do when this happens to you (and of course it will, over and over)? Quickly remember the number 5, the Five-Year Rule. Will whatever has happened be important to
you in five years? Will it even be important to you in five minutes, five hours, five days,
five months and of course, in five years?
Will you remember that the toilet seat was left up, that the supper dishes were left in the sink, that the clothes were left on the floor, that a certain letter you had asked a coworker to complete was not done by its deadline, that the plane was late, that you were late for work on Tuesday and your boss was irritated, but did not know that your dog was sick?Real or imagined slights, someone talking behind your back, malicious and unnecessarygossip, all of these and so many other situations arise, day after day.
You cannot change what happens, but you can change how you react to any of these and other small and large negative events in your daily life? Think about what its importance will be to you in five years. And if it is not important five years down the road, think of it as a caged bird, let it go! Release it into the air. Allow the anger or upset to dissipate. Breathe normally. Be calm with it. Let it sail over your head, far, far away. It cannot touch you. It is not part of your space or psyche. It has nothing to do with you. Force yourself to become calm. Think calm. Be calm. Move your thoughts to pleasant places. Look at the person who is the negative force and your own force field locks into place. You are not angry or unhappy… it is not important to you in five years. You have let it go and you can get on with your life.
What if it is important to you in five years? Acknowledge it. And think about it before reacting. Think like this…this is going to be really important to me in five years. I need to deal with it rationally. I cannot react to it right now. I need a plan. Move away from it. Do not deal with it then unless there is no other way. Then when you have calmed yourself and you able to think clearly, make a plan (often a written one works well) andthen DO something about it. That is a call to action. Make positive change.
Over the many years since I started using this Five-Year Rule, it has served me well and I have taught it to many others. Try it today. Use it in good health, in happiness and be calmness itself.