The power button on my flat screen monitor broke yesterday.
- My first thought was – How stupid, a little #%#@! plastic button has ruined my monitor.
- My second thought was – I am such an idiot. I know better than to keep turning the monitor on and off. I know I should leave my monitor on. I know the most common problem with a monitor is the power button. I work in IT for crying out loud.
- My third thought was – What kind of manufacturer makes junk like this? They should be ashamed to make this garbage.
- My fourth thought was – I bet Chris (my wife) screwed up the power button. If she was more careful this crap wouldn’t happen.
- After learning the monitor was just days out of warranty, I thought – Jerks, I bet they built it so it breaks after a year, then they can sell me a new one.
- My last negative thought was – Why do I buy all this stuff? It all breaks anyway. I’m a slave to my stuff. I should sell it all and go live in a tee-pee.
You can see where this was going. My first thought attracted similar thoughts – all negative. My thoughts were not leading me to a solution, they were leading me away from one. So how did I break the spiral?
- The first step (also the hardest step when you are caught up in the emotion of the moment) is to identify that you are in a negative thought spiral. My first clue I was in a negative thought spiral was my use of profanities and words like idiot, stupid, jerks, and disgusting. My second clue was I was blaming. Name calling and blame never lead to a solution. I consciously thought – I have identified I am in a negative thought spiral and I need to break it.
- I Interrupted my negative thought spiral by consciously forcing a positive thought into my mind. Any positive thought would work. I looked around the room for something positive, saw my son and thought – I love you. Then I said it out loud.
- I took a deep breath and waited for more positive thoughts so I could build a positive thought pattern. I expected more positive thoughts. The next one came – Those area rugs make this room look great. That one wasn’t forced – it floated up from my sub-conscious. More and more positive thoughts followed.
- Once I felt I had established a positive thought pattern, I focused back on the monitor – my problem at hand.
My sub-conscious handed me these thoughts about the monitor:
- A monitor isn’t that important. Don’t fret. It’ll be fine
- Get the old monitor you have in the basement and use it until the broken one is fixed
- Bring the broken one to work tomorrow and ask your hardware savvy friends if they have any idea how to fix it
Today I fixed the monitor with help from my smart friends.