This is a companion piece to my previous post about finding your own heroic narrative. A few hours after I clicked publish, the universe put another related idea right in front of me. One that I couldn't ignore.
I was on my way to the supermarket at the end of a long day. It was cold, wet and I wasn't really in the mood to do the weekly shop. Out of nowhere a car zoomed past me, made me swerve and meant that the traffic lights turned red just before I got to them.
I could feel the anger rising inside me and I remembered this quote:
"Beware of whom the anger is hurting. Usually it's yourself first and foremost." Naval Ravikant.
Which is true, but I'm also not a saint. So, what was I to do while waiting for the lights to turn green -- other than to watch the speeding car race up the road?
I decided to imagine their hero's journey. I imagined the man in that car was racing to take a sick child to hospital. Or he was rushing to a job interview that was his last chance to keep a roof over his head. Or speeding away having rescued a vulnerable person from a mob.
What a guy. Good luck to you friend 🦸♂️
Within a few seconds I felt calm again. Because I reminded myself that people are generally good and they certainly don't wish harm on others. Whatever was going on for him, it wasn't about me.
You can try the same mental trick when you're at work.
Someone hasn't replied to your email? Maybe they are caring for a sick relative.
Were they short with you? Maybe they spent the night volunteering with the homeless.
Of course, if you have the opportunity it is always best to ask someone if they are okay. But, if not, just make up a good story. And then you'll be a hero too.
When I arrived at the supermarket I saw the car and the driver. He wasn't on the way to save a child. He was rushing to by some beer.
But, you know what, I still smiled at him. Because, whatever was going on in his life, he really needed that drink.