When I’m mad about something, my emotions want to beat that dead horse into the ground. There’s not much value to it. I can get going on some pretty stupid stuff too. I don’t want to do that. It’s like driving. When I encounter someone driving recklessly, showing signs of road rage or just a plain old selfish attitude, I think, “This person has a problem. I don’t want that problem to become my problem.” I do whatever it takes to separate myself from them. In the same way, asking “What could I be thinking now?” reminds me to get off the highway to nowhere I create for myself when I keep swallowing and regurgitating poisonous thoughts.
“All right, we’re not doing this, gentlemen. We are not going to do this. We’re not going to go bouncing off the walls for ten minutes, ’cause we’re just going to end up back here with the same problems! Try to figure out how to stay alive!” – Jim Lovell in Apollo 13
“As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.” Proverbs 26:11
When I choose to spend my energy on something productive it eases my mind. It improves my attitude. It corrects my behavior. I can act like a raving lunatic throwing bats from the dugout, if that’s what wins games, but odds are someone smarter will do better employing a different strategy. There is always something productive to invest yourself in over something destructive. In church we like to use the term edifying to describe things that are fruitful. It’s defined as anything that is instructive, beneficial, or uplifting.
Gripes come and go. Some linger. I don’t think there’s any use in pretending not to have them. I just think every heartbeat is a resource worth investing. If my current course is not profitable, what’s the point in trying to milk it? I want to get something back for my effort.
What could I be thinking now? I could be thinking about what I’m going to do next instead of beating that dead horse all day.