It’s safe to say the majority of the habits in my life are nothing more than repetitive actions that somehow became a routine. Without a doubt most of these habits are impacting my life in a negative way.
Playing the role
We all play roles, and over time we become predictable. Some examples would be the role we play when we first wake up. Are you predictably grouchy until you sip your coffee or are you happy? Another popular one is the victim role. That’s where the world is out to get us, the circumstances we’ve created can’t possibly be our fault and we act accordingly, mad, disappointed and frustrated.
The roles we create and act out are based on our self image and comfort zone. Just like when George Clooney tried to play Batman, some of the roles we choose for ourselves are a bad idea and we need to think twice about taking them on.
A personal favorite of mine is the role I play when I get home from work. This is the role where I play the frustrated, tired and grumpy husband. I still can’t believe there isn’t an Oscar on my mantle for this performance.
The truth is, I work hard, you work hard, I get it. But how we choose to interact with our wives, husbands and kids can set a tone that will not only last for a night, but can create the persona of who we are and how we are perceived for a lifetime. Based on the role I have been playing for quite a while, that is an unpleasant thought.
Setting the temperature
Getting home from work last Thursday night was an eye opener. I was nailing my part, a true Hollywood A-list performance. I even had my sore knee limp going strong as I walked through the back door and into our kitchen.
Megan must have lost her script, she was doing it all wrong. She wasn’t playing her role of the upbeat and sympathetic spouse as expected. She decided to improvise and play her true emotions at face value. She had a hard day herself and was also tired and frustrated. To be honest, it was the first time in a long time that I realized what an ass I have been lately.
Megan had become the thermostat of our home, having to single handily control the mood and temperature of our lives. I had become the lazy thermometer playing off the tone and mood that by default Megan had been required to set.
I have been relying on Megan to be happy and cheerful, creating the light atmosphere within our home. I had come to expect a pat on the back every night telling me it would all be OK. A better idea is to choose to be grateful, happy and cheerful myself, you know, actually be fun to be around.
A new script
The truth is clear. As husband and father it’s my role to set the tone for our family. I need to suck it up and lead us where we have decided to go. Good days or bad, my family requires better of me on a consistent basis.
The soil that healthy families grow in, only requires a few key nutrients.
Obviously life isn’t perfect, and neither are we. Don’t expect every day to be a red carpet performance. Great relationships are built on give and take. When Megan is down, I need to be there for her and when I am down she is always there for me. Somehow I just let her take on the burden of being the thermostat for too long.
Pay attention and make adjustments as needed
Here is my take away. We need to be honest with ourselves and look closely at the roles we choose to play. Picking the roles that will provide security, trust and optimism in our families is by far the best decision we can make.
Realizing the mood of our household is important and understanding the majority of time it’s under our control is a big step forward. We have it even better than Hollywood superstars because we get to choose our very own roles.
And here is the good part, choosing the best role to play is simply a decision.
This Week’s Podcast:
James Altucher is an original guy to say the least. I first came across him a few years ago and have been hooked on everything he writes ever since. His book Choose Yourself is one of the best books I have ever read in regards to living life by design. If you have not read it, I highly recommend you do!
For more info on James Altucher visit his blog Altucher Confidential or visit his iTunes page. Be sure to check out his other episodes on iTunes and subscribe to the Podcast if you connect with him. Also, make sure to leave a rating and a comment in iTunes so James feels the love.
This post was originally published at Sow.Reap.Live