Melvyn Tan
December 11, 2013 — By tanmelvyn@gmail.com

How To Become A Class Act

[blockquote source=”Proverbs 29:22 (NIV)“]An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.[/blockquote] Emotional Mastery If there is one thing I’d like to change about myself, that would be how I manage my emotions. To put it lightly, I sometimes do not manage my emotions well enough. I believe that our ability to handle […]

[blockquote source=”Proverbs 29:22 (NIV)“]An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.[/blockquote]

Emotional Mastery
If there is one thing I’d like to change about myself, that would be how I manage my emotions. To put it lightly, I sometimes do not manage my emotions well enough. I believe that our ability to handle or manage our emotions is critical not only to our success but also how it would impact our relationships with other people.

So, how can we do it?

Sometime back, I picked up an extraordinary audio program titled, “Make Yourself Unforgettable: The Dale Carnegie Class-Act System“. The program presented, among others, five key principles that we can apply in order to make ourselves unforgettable; to make ourselves a Class Act.

Waiting in line…
One of the narrative was about you being in line at your local Starbucks. Its 8:45am and you’d need to be at your desk by 9am. And having waited for what seems to be like eternity, it was just down to you and the person in front. The problem is, that person is taking a long time to decide on the order. Tall or Grande? Whole milk or skim? With whip-cream or without whip-cream? And all you want is just coffee, nothing fancy. But because this person is taking way too long to decide, you are now faced with a situation where your emotions are being aroused.

Do you lose your cool? Do you yell at this person? And even if you do, would it help? What can you do?

Dealing with Emotions
The key to understanding how to deal with a situation like this is the following: being aware of your perception of the situation and your projection of that perception. This requires a little unpacking.

Our perception of any given situation is based entirely on our own interpretation. However, that interpretation may or may not be accurate. One example quoted by Stephen Covey was his experience while riding on the subway one day. There in the same cabin was this man and his two young children. After a while, the children became restless and starting creating a din disturbing the other commuters. At one point, Covey thought to himself, how this man should have better discipline his children rather than just sitting there. It came to a point where Covey went over and spoke to the man, appealing to him to control his kids as they are disturbing others. The man replied saying he agreed but as they’ve just came back from the hospital where the kids mother just died and he guessed the kids are still trying to deal with it. Until that moment, it couldn’t have occurred to Covey, but that immediately changed his perception. And because of that perception, it changed the projection of his attitude and behavior towards the man and his children.

We can all be experiencing the same event, but our perception and hence our interpretation of it could be very different from others. But until we are able to more accurately align our perception to others, we may end up being judgemental and worse, being impatient with others. And as a result, our actions, which are effectively the projection of our perception, will reflect accordingly.

How to become a Class Act
One of the tips I picked up from the Dale Carnegie program is this: Write down your thoughts and beliefs that occurred during the course of the day. At the end of the day, closely examine these thoughts and beliefs to see if these are at all misconceptions.

We truly need to first change our perception if we at all want to be able to change ourselves in the long term.

Prayer
Father, I pray to have a heightened awareness of my thoughts and beliefs that will affect the attainment of my goals, including the one on being a role model for my children. And I pray this sincerely in Jesus name, Amen.