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Upsets are caused by one of three things:

1. Thwarted intention;

2. Unfulfilled expectation;

3. Undelivered communication.

When I'm upset, I find that taking a minute to determine which one (or both or all three) is in operation is very valuable. It doesn't change what has happened, but it does change my mindset. No longer do I feel like a victim. I understand what has happened and that understanding puts it all in perspective.

Then, oddly enough, the upset fades away and the possibilities for the future emerge. I wonder why.

John Sherck writes: Interesting. Does your changed mindset depend at all on which of the three it is? For instance, when it's "unfulfilled expectations," do you find yourself deciding that maybe your expectations were unreasonable? Or when the problem is missed communication, you're able to accept what happened because there isn't necessarily fault to be handed out? Thwarted intention, does that find you revising your intentions or redoubling your efforts?

I hadn't thought of it that way, John, but now that you mention it--yes, there is some truth to your questions. In addition, I would say that once the upset is calmed down, other possibilities occur that hadn't been obvious before (to me, anyway!).

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