How This Simple Message Released Me From Being Frustrated in Traffic Jams

Every morning I have a pretty usual routine (who doesn’t that first 1/2 hour? Most of us are stumbling through our kitchens pretty much on autopilot)…it always begins waking up to a yellow lab who is way too excited with anticipation for 2/3 cup of kibble, feed both 4-leggeds (the sidekick is an incredibly tolerant little sister kitty Lucy), get the coffee percolator gurgling and enjoy that time only morning offers before the day’s launch. 

Because work is the most widely accepted AND expected #1 priority, what is so powerful about having a morning routine is that the other areas of your life are included in the day before you’re off to the races. I am a big believer in the importance of being mentally and physically strong…so it’s important that time for that is carved out. Morning seems to work best (and, that’s a pretty darn good opening act to your day).

The stumbling, attention to animals, and coffee is always the same. Most days I make it a point to enjoy a few more quiet moments: a glass of water, 10 breaths, my ‘every single morning’ notes and an entry out of the Everyday Tao. Today, was one of those days. And the message, like often with the Tao, was a simple gift. Truly a “it’s in your hands” entry. Read on below for the passage itself and my biggest takeaway.


video bonuses:

  • the #1 thing to put this into play (THE key to success for behavior change) 

  • recognize your veto power to avoid (or end quickly) any frustration

  • the beauty of original purpose


Day 56 Original Purpose

The Tao of Joy Everyday by Derek Lin

Life has its challenging moments. Sometimes, you will find yourself annoyed, upset or angry. When that happens, it can be very useful to take a mental step back, review the situation and ask yourself if the negative emotions are consistent with your original purpose.

For instance, do you sometimes find yourself irritated by traffic or by poor drivers on the road? If so, consider that your purpose for driving is to gain greater freedom and mobility, to take yourself places that are too far away for walking. Your original purpose for driving is not to irritate yourself. Thus, you can dismiss the irritation as something that distracts you from your purpose. 

Do you sometimes find yourself disappointed or let down by coworkers? If so, consider that your purpose for working may be to make a living for yourself and loved ones, or to build a secure future for your family. In all likelihood, your original purpose is not to seek out opportunities to be disappointed. With this in mind, you can dismiss the disappointment as something that hinders you from achieving your purpose.

Remember this whenever you feel the beginning of darker moods. Always review your original purpose. You will find it much easier to remain calm and level-headed. This gives you a new clarity and appreciation for life, and helps you keep your intent on your purpose.

My favorite takeaway from Day 56 is that when you remember to come back to your original purpose, you are back in control. External frustrations are here to stay, but it doesn’t mean you let them steal your excitement or from your “Original Purpose”. Many of us have nodded along with the advice: “it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react that matters”…well, it feels really great to apply that to everyday situations in our lives as well.