Know Your Triggers

Are you dreading that family get together or perhaps that tough conversation with a friend, co-worker or mate? Do you find yourself losing your cool, or keeping calm? In this brief video

Full Video Transcript
One of the ideas that has meant more to me—probably the most important ideas that I have learned
in this lifetime (still learning it)—was Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
He was on sabbatical. He was in the library, walking along, and a book called to him. He pulled
this book off the bookshelf, opened it up randomly, and there was a sentence that changed his life. It
has changed my life and a lot of other people’s lives. It says that “between every stimulus and
response, there is a gap. And in that gap lies your freedom. “

Between everything that happens out here…stimulus: somebody says something negative to you at
work, or in a relationship…something happens… you get a bill in the mail you didn’t expect or a
traffic ticket…or, some crisis occurs…that’s the stimulus.
Now, animals react automatically. They just react.

Fear, anger, irritability…they (people) do things that are harmful to themselves and others…they
react… human beings that are just reacting to the stimulus. But you don’t have to.
There is gap between what happens and how you respond to it. And that’s where your freedom to
choose it, that’s where you can choose how you are going to respond.
Why is that difficult? Well, I’m going to explain that. So, how do you do that?
First of all, know what your triggers are. What triggers your reactions, or have you mastered this
already? (Laughter) Those of you levitating on the roof, just come on back down in your seats.
(Laughter)

Oh, it’s simple, ladies and gentlemen, but it is mastery…mastery.

One of my triggers…I have some… (Laughter) I was online the other day, trying to pay a credit
card online. Good luck is right. You know, I started to feel annoyed as I was trying to find how to
pay this bill online. I looked at the obvious places, you know. And then I started to think uh-huh,
they don’t want me paying this bill online. I started to judge what was going on. Uh-huh, they
want to make this complicated for people, so they’ll say, “Oh, I’ll try this again later.” Next thing
you know, you’ve got a $35 fine in the mail.

And I found myself getting a little bit annoyed, not being…ok, let me call customer service…can
barely understand what the person is saying on the other end of the phone…now, it was because the
connection was not good. I’d keep repeating “so, you’re saying the lalala…And she started to get a
little annoyed. And I had to, as the song says, “just breathe…breathe…”

What are your triggers? It’s helpful to know. When I start to get online and call customer service, I
know, “Okay, let me take a breath.” Let me take a breath, okay? Breathe…breathe…pause…don’t
react…pause…don’t react. You know why that’s important? Know what your triggers are, one…
Another one of my triggers…I probably shouldn’t be telling too many churches, ‘cause heaven
knows there are people who like to know that…use some of them triggers on me. I don’t like to be
told what to do, when I haven’t asked somebody.

“You should do this.” “You should do that.” How many of you don’t like that? (Show of hands)
See? I’m not alone…I’m not alone…You kissed somebody and they think they should be telling
you what to do ever since then. Or, just because they gave birth to you they think they should be
telling you everything…

So yeah, what are your triggers? Be aware. Wholehearted people are not anxiety averse or anxiety
absent. They are anxiety aware. What are situations that trigger you, so that you can be prepared
when you step into that situation?

Somebody starts telling me what I should do? I take a nice deep breath…aaaaah…and then, I
strangle them…(Laughter) No, no, you just got to pause…pause…and then, breathe…breathe…