What is the 90 second rule?
What is the 90 second rule? Why should I care?
A few of my insights on the 90 second rule and “trading your expectations for appreciation”. (Perhaps better said as “trade your disappointments for appreciation “)
When we experience something that we consider to be a bad event, or something we probably didn’t expect we can give our bodies 90 seconds to experience the flush of chemicals that make us angry, frustrated, sad. Watch the second hand on the watch and breathe deep. (After that I’m just holding onto it.)
In his classic book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl wrote, “When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves… Everything can be taken from a human but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
So I seek to give my self 90 seconds to feel “it” and then refocus on appreciation or gratitude. This is looking for what might be good in the situation. In some situations, it might take longer to discover what I can appreciate. I still refocus on other things in my life I’m grateful for. The purpose is to go from a negative emotional state to a neutral one to a positive one. From the positive state I can decide in that context how I should react and what I should do next.
I find that some events, like when a friend of mine was murdered, don’t seem to have a lot I can appreciate. But even there being grateful for the positive life of this person is useful. Or I might even find other things in my life that I’m grateful for to change my state.
James put it this way, 19 “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
Do realize I’m not saying everything is “good.” But even if an event was “bad” or “evil” it is still better for me to deal with it from a more position emotional state.
We tend to create “patterns of reaction” almost like a self image. As a voice teacher I often have to convince a student to reset their “vocal Self image”. As people we may need to create better habits of reaction. This starts with what we do the first thing in the morning (“Morning Mastery”). Start by spending some time daily “optimizing your attitude” and creating a “gratitude focus”. We need to “train our attitude muscles”. Paul said, “Therefore I train myself to always have a blameless conscience before God and men”. (Acts 24:16)
I still “fall off the wagon” from time to time but it is less often, and I don’t last as long in that state.
Reference: Tony Robbins and Jill Bolte Taylor, author of “My Stroke Of Insight” https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-right-mindset/202004/the-90-second-rule-builds-self-control