Get Out of ‘Bed’ And Grab The ‘Oar.’

Hang glider flyingIt is not what happens to us, but how we react that makes or breaks us. Life throws things at us when we least expect, some things are great, others are difficult.

It is fascinating to watch the difference in peoples’ reactions and how some individuals can find good in basically anything, a silver lining in every cloud.

Others fall apart when difficult circumstances arise, believing they are being victimised and showing little resistance to the situation at hand.

It is important to note that the positive people are not the ones who gush positivity all day and night, going over the top about life and how wonderful it treats them.

That’s just a step too far, I’m talking about realists who go through their day with a glass half full approach, choosing not to fall down when things don’t go to plan or a curve ball rolls out in front of them when least expected.

We’d all love to be like this and here’s the way how. We need to get out of BED and grab the OAR. “What the heck does that mean?” you might ask. Well, I was shown an acronym at a course recently and I found it to be most powerful and insightful tool I had come across in a long time.

We all have days when we wake up and want the day to be over, believing that it’s going to go from bad to worse. That’s the day when we get soaked in the rain, forget the mobile, are late for work and seem to have one problem after another when we do get there.

This we can name a red light day. Then there are green light days when we wake up energised and positive, the sun shines and we are productive in work with next to no hiccups.

On the red-light days, it is tempting get into BED, not literally (although this is tempting too) but figuratively as the tendency is to BLAME others, make EXCUSES and stay in DENIAL about what is happening.

For the person I described earlier even red light days quickly turn to green ones. This is because they grab the OAR. They take OWNERSHIP of the situation, remain ACCOUNTABLE and take RESPONSIBILITY for what is happening.

To be happy in life our goal should be to live more of life above the line. This makes life easier, and gives a personal freedom. The way to do this is to ask yourself a few questions.

* Am I looking for someone to blame when things don’t go to plan?

* Am I making excuses?

* What justifications am I using to get me off the hook?

* What am I in denial about and what is really happening here?

Be honest with yourself even if it’s not easy. You need to expose your below the line behaviours and look at what areas of your life they are affecting.

HOW DIFFERENT WOULD IT BE IF YOU MOVED ABOVE THE LINE?

1. Ownership – This is the ability to own your part and accept how you may have been part of or caused the situation.

2. Responsibility is the ability to respond to what is happening. It means you have the choice to respond differently to your circumstances. It is our inaction that keeps us stuck and panicked.

3. Accountability is the ability to account for or be held accountable. This is vital for personal development.

If you want to live above the line the step is COURAGE. It takes no courage to stay in the trap of blame, excuses, justification and denial. Blaming others and refusing to face reality leads you to feel angry, resentful and helpless.

It takes COURAGE to stand up and admit you have been using these coping mechanisms but want to change. So, every time you feel a red light thought coming on, ask yourself “Am I going to get into BED with this or take the OAR and steer my life in a happier, positive manner?

Take the right choice, the outcome will be amazing:

* You will discover who you are and what you’re made of.

* You’ll free yourself from the chains that impact your relationships and everything you do.

* You’ll get to live in the present moment rather than the past.

* You’ll feel empowered by taking responsibility for everything you do.

Change starts with you. No-one can make you do it and the choice is yours but those who aim to stay above the line are happier and enjoy life, the opposite to those who choose not to.
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Claire Jackson blogs on all aspects of health and lifestyle. She works as an adviser for Motivation.ie where she uses her expertise and experience to help clients.

  • Seth

    Thanks Claire for the article! I particularly like the questions to ask myself to become aware of my attitude and atmosphere I’m giving off to the world.

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  • Theresa Candy Lovelace

    Great article. I especially like the acronym OAR. So often we have those days but OAR is a way to get back on track.