I have noticed, and have seen it in myself, how people tend to blame the circumstances and problems they find themselves in on others and on the world around them. I don’t blame them, I did this myself. I would complain about the service I received at a store to the crowds and seemingly unending lines that found myself in. I would become frustrated because it seemed no matter where I went there was a problem, for example, there would be this one particular convenience store I would visit. It was a small store, you know the type that is connected to a gas station. It seemed that every time I went in to purchase something or to get gas there was an issue. Either there were a lot of people standing in line as if in a grocery store, or the gas pumps were backed up as if a storm was coming. To make matters worse, out of the three cashiers that were supposed to be available, two would randomly take a lunch break or decide, at the same time, to begin to restock the shelves. Meanwhile, more and more people would shuffle in, filling their shopping carts to the brim with ridiculous items. Some would even come in to pick up items that would take the remaining cashier at least 30 minutes to complete, such as renting a carpet cleaner or a large amount of birthday balloons. With these few examples, you can see the frustration. Don’t even get me started with the genius drivers of the world and traffic.
After hearing that rant, many people would say “go someplace else to shop”. That is a great suggestion, but therein lies the problem. It seemed as if the aimless crowd and absent minded cashiers would be everywhere. And that is when it came to me, out of all the locations I visit and all of the different crowds that are involved, and out of all the situations, what is the one constant? Me, the issue was not with the strangers that happen to be in the same location, it was me and my attitude towards the crowds and situations. I was looking at the “problem” all wrong. So I thought I would test this theory, I consciously decided to not mind what was going on around and focus on feeling good. At first it is difficult, especially when you notice that the people around you are feeling the same frustration, some even voice out loud their grievous opinions to the agreement of others around them. Just when that old feeling starts to swell, I tell myself that this doesn’t bother me and usually begin to distract myself with my phone. Changing your mindset is in no way easy, it’s like trying to tie your shoelace a different way that you have learned. You may forget or you may simply simply become frustrated with trying to change and go back to the old way, then you are back where you started.
Give this mindset change a try next time you find yourself in a situation as described above. This is a conscience effort, especially if you’re someone like I used to be, angry and frustrated all the time. You have to remember to do this, and after a while all the problems that you have with crowds will seem to just disappear, you won’t notice the issues that were there before. Like magic, you can change the world around you by changing your mindset to the world.