Staying cool when everyone else gets hot is not about making sure your body temperature is lower than everyone else’s when it’s 100 degrees outside. Although if you can do that, you should. I am talking about keeping your cool, a calm head, a peaceful demeanor, when everyone else around you is mad or outraged. This is the ability to control your feelings, tell yourself a different story than others have told themselves, and handle all situations rationally and with respect.
1st and Goal to 3rd and 22???
Here is a quick example of when I kept my cool when everyone else was hot. It was the State Championship High School Football game. Our school’s team had an undefeated season and are looking to continue that with a win against our number one rivals. I was in the stands and surrounded by family, friends, and the entire town, all cheering and hollering for our team. All of a sudden, there is a blatantly bad call by the official as our team is trying to score. Then another bad call, and another. Now what should have been a touch down after 1st down and Goal on the 4 yard line is now 3rd down and 22. You may be thinking, “wow, how did that happen?”
From missed offsides calls, to ridiculous holding penalties and three touchdowns called back, here the team is. And let me tell you…the town was not happy. I completely understood, as I always try to be objective, but it sure did seem like the officials were against our team. Now, all the parents, students and even young children are yelling and booing the officials to the point where things were getting uncomfortable. Everyone on our side was hot, but I tried to stay cool, although I can tell you that I honestly began to lose it too as I was early on in my self discipline and fighting years of yelling and just saying what was on my mind.
Don’t Jump On The Bandwagon
That was a great opportunity to stay cool when everyone else was hot, but how is that possible? Emotions were running high as our team was being cheated out of something they deserved and it just didn’t seem fair. But keeping your cool is the right approach. It is more than ok to boo the officials on a bad call or series of bad calls, but this went further than that with obscenities, and cheap verbal attacks. Yes, kids were there, but that did not seem to matter to most people. Actually, some of the kids were going a little too far too with the hateful yelling. It is very difficult to not jump on the bandwagon, as we all just want to fit in and be accepted by our groups. This is where you can challenge yourself, be positive, and have some self control when everyone else seems to be losing it. Unlike many others, I was able to avoid saying things in front of my wife, kids, and friends that would make even a sailor blush. By keeping my cool, I was able to show I was displeased, by simply booing a call and still fit in with the home crowd. By avoiding saying anything that I would regret, I could easily face my family and friends when I got home.
Keep A Cool Head
This is only one example of how going with the crowd and lowering yourself is not becoming of an adult, let alone a parent setting an example for their kids. The ability to stay cool when everyone else gets hot provides a calming presence in the situation, a sense of hope when outrage fills the air. The likelihood of bringing an angry situation to pass is much higher if at least one person in the situation is calm. With a cool head, you can think clearly, rationalize, and help everyone understand that people are not perfect. They do make mistakes and it is easy to see how emotions can fuel the fire. It is difficult to remember that people are not perfect when you want “someone to pay” for the injustice you just experienced. When these situations come up, say to yourself, “stay cool when everyone else gets hot.” Tell yourself a different story than most others tell themselves. Not a story of injustice or being treated unfairly, but a story of positivity, hope and respect.
At the end of the day, we can’t always control what happens in life, but we can control what we think about it and how we respond. Take a breather, tell yourself to stay calm, cool, and collected. Most things in life are temporary and won’t amount to a hill of beans in the future. Set the good example for others around you and hold your head high, even when it feels like others are trying to bring you down. By the way, our team won the State Championship. All those bad calls made the win that much sweeter!!!