Daily Nugget of Gold 687
Walking Barefoot on Hot Coals
At an event recently success coach Tony Robbins ran, something like 21 people were burned when they attempted to walk barefoot across hot coals. To be fair, Robbins has held this demonstration again and again for many years and the object is to show how the proper state of mind may prevent you from being harmed, and to prove you have enough will power to overcome even something which seems like a perfectly rational fear. Robbins has probably had tens or hundreds of thousands of people do this without harm, but the fact remains a small amount of people do indeed suffer burns when they try it. We would suggest that it isn’t necessary to go such extremes to prove something positive to yourself as far as state management is concerned.
State management is an admirable goal, in any case. Most of us live our lives in an ordinary way, which is to say when someone does something that we perceive as harmful or even potentially harmful to us, we react by changing our emotional state in response. We get angry, annoyed, frustrated, or hurt when other people do these things. Do we really need to walk on hot coals to prove we can manage our state of mind? No! We can start right now with the mundane, ordinary events that happen in our lives and work from there. True, there is no special showmanship needed for this, and it wouldn’t usually be an overtly observable event as walking away from a hot bed of coals with our feet unscathed, but who are we trying to prove this to, others or ourselves? Besides, if you work on the ordinary events in your life instead of walking on hot coals, you can pocket the hundreds or thousands of dollars in fees they charge for the privilege of doing so, ha ha!
Feedback is a necessity in both instances. The feedback from failing to walk across the hot coals without injury is fairly easy to see. If you’re burned, it didn’t go so well. The feedback we need for challenging ourselves to manage our state is in our gut and in our dwelling on a negative event over and over again. If we’ve learned to effectively manage our state, we can be back to feeling completely good again very shortly. We don’t keep running the event over and over again in our minds when we have come to terms with it, settled it, and moved on. We’re not recommending suppressing events, either- we want to free ourselves of the negative state of mind completely by dealing with it in an appropriate manner.
Both ways of demonstrating state management take courage. The payoff with the fire walking experience is in an enhanced understanding that we can overcome our fears and prove we have incredible ability within ourselves to face the challenges and overcome them. The payoff in learning how to resolve bad vibes or bad feelings we get when someone intentionally or unintentionally does us harm is just as great. The satisfaction we feel as we get better and better at this is incredible, too. Tony Robbins remains one of our favorite mentors for a lot of reasons, but we don’t personally feel the need to do something extreme in order to prove to ourselves that we’ve grown. Getting our own negative emotional responses under control to those everyday occurrences seems to be every bit as rewarding to us as avoiding physical injury doing something most people would regard as foolish. Maybe even more so.
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“How can I get better at coming back to a positive state of mind after a negative event much sooner?”
Copyright 2012 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.