"Your pet peeves can be a blessing. They provide countless opportunities to master your motivation!" - Susan Fowler

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What are your top three pet peeves? I'm challenged to stop at three: Drivers who text. People having phone conversations in a public bathroom. Littering—especially smokers who toss their cigarette butts on the street.

This morning I experienced one of my most frustrating pet peeves. A car pulled out in front of me, forcing me to put on my brakes. But after their swift entry into the road ahead of me, they crawled along slower than the speed limit. Why were they in such a hurry to get in front of me if they’re not in a hurry? I felt my blood pressure rising. I was so irritated!

The day had started beautifully. I had many reasons to be grateful. And, I was on my way to have a manicure and 30 minutes of relaxation before embarking on writing my CHOMP newsletter. The irony of feeling pressured to get to an appointment to relax and then do work I enjoy didn’t escape me. “I teach what I most need to learn,” is one of my life mottos. Maybe this was a good time to practice what I teach. Could I use the three truths of motivation to transform the negative energy, pressure, and stress I was feeling (called the Imposed Motivational Outlook) into positive energy?

My pet peeve moment was a little moment that became a powerful learning experience.
I considered the first truth of motivation: We need to create “choice.” I was obviously frustrated at the driver impeding my progress. Just thinking about their selfish choice irritated me even more. Focus Susan. What choices did I have? I could choose to continue being irritated. Or, I could choose to find a way to let it go. Even if the other driver was at fault, letting it go would honor my values for forgiveness and compassion. Choosing to find compassion for the driver led me to an interesting place…

I considered the second truth of motivation: We need to create “connection.” An aspect of connection is genuine caring for another person. I explored what compassion for this driver might look like. Maybe the driver was late to work or going to see someone who had been rushed to the hospital. But then, why were they driving so slowly now? 

An idea popped into focus. I had assumed that the driver saw me coming and chose to pull out in front of me anyway. What if my assumption was wrong? What if the driver had already started making their turn before I showed up, and by the time they noticed me, didn’t have time to stop their progress? I do tend to drive fast. Maybe I had produced that awkward and potentially dangerous situation, and they handled it the best they could.

What happened to me next is hard to describe. By accepting part of the responsibility for the problem, I experienced a wave of compassion for the driver. My pressure dissipated. The irritation lifted. I didn’t feel bad. Indeed, I felt a bit euphoric. I was curious why.

I considered the third truth of motivation: We need to create "competence." Competence is a sense of growth and learning; demonstrating skill; making progress. In less than two minutes of conscious thought and reflection, I had gained insight into my own personality and experienced compassion for another human being. My joy stemmed from the choice I made to create connection and learn something about myself in the process. For that moment, I had mastered my motivation. 

Making mountains out of molehills. Right now, you might think my little scenario is making a mountain out of a molehill. You are right. And isn’t that grand? Symbolically, the mountain is thought to contain divine inspiration. People make pilgrimages to mountains for transcendence and spiritual elevation. The mountain signifies the state of absolute consciousness. Our pet peeves provide the opportunity to make mountains out of molehills every day.

Maybe we need to make more mountains out of molehills by creating choice, connection, and competence whenever a pet peeve disrupts us from grace. 
I’d love to hear about your pet peeves—and how you use them as opportunities to master your motivation!

With gratitude,

Ebook Sale: Master Your Motivation

Happy Women's History Month! For a limited time, you can get my book Master Your Motivation, for $1.99 in Berrett-Koehler's March ebook sale. There are five other titles by women you can explore as well. 
Get Ebook

Articles Worth Reading...

The Motivation Challenge

Learn How to Master Your Motivation

Your Company is Unfair. So What?

Podcasts Worth Listening To...

Learn How to Master Your Motivation 

Activating Optimal Motivation with Susan Fowler and Art Barter

Optimally Money Motivated Or Not?

Well Fed Warrior Virtual Event

Did you know there’s something like 3,500 health-related searches on Google — per second? We seek this and search for that more than ever when it comes to our health. Information overload, we could find endless options for how to take care of the one body we have.

Are we all really that different… it “works from some people, but not others – not for me?”

If you’ve ever had these questions bubble inside…

You’re not alone.

I’m so grateful and honored to be chosen as one of the expert advisors for The Well Fed Warrior 10-day Virtual Weight-loss and Detoxification Experience happening online Saturday, March 21st through Monday, March 30th. Firewave Wellness and their creator/host Mia Sarno has made an incredible event worthy of your time…Consider joining this event online and learning from energy architects, physicians, registered nurses and best-selling international motivators...

Register here. It's free!
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