Often when we are caught up in the activity of our lives, we don’t stop and think about our automatic responses to question or our reactions to situations. Asking ourselves “ Is it necessary?” can save us a lot of trouble!
During a recent buying trip, I was sitting at the airport with my father. Our flight had been delayed and we had some time to kill. I was about to confide with him about a situation that developed with one of my close relatives, even though it was considered a ‘family secret’. Whilst I hadn’t been specifically told to keep it in confidence, it was clearly something that wasn’t to be discussed openly.
My dear father is an unassuming person and secrets are generally safe with him. I therefore thought there would be little harm in opening up to him. However, before I even opened my mouth I remembered an incident whereas close friend queried me with “ Is it necessary ?”
Two of my friends had had an argument. One came to me complaining about the other and I, hoping to resolve the issue, explained why the other had been offended by her attitude. Before I knew it I was drawn into their conflict. Words were put into my mouth, and things I hadn’t actually said were quoted. I was terribly upset and confided in another friend. He didn’t mince his words and harshly reprimanded me immediately. “ It’s your fault! Is it necessary to even mention how one person feels towards another ? You obviously said too much.”
His words really hit me and I’ve since decided not to get involved in other people’s quarrels or to say more than I should!
So at the point of disclosure to my father I stopped myself and questioned “Is this really necessary ? ” What good would it do ? He couldn’t help to improve the situation and there was a risk that he may slip up and spread the ‘ secret ’. Then I would be fully responsible for opening the Pandora’s Box.
Asking ourselves “Is it really necessary” can save us a lot of trouble!
Late one evening I came home hungry and in a bad mood. While trying to have my dinner, my fashion conscious son came to talk to me again about the latest fashion trends on offer along Orchard Road. After awhile, he sensed my disinterest and became angry when I told him that I would not buy him yet another fashion jacket. For the first time he raised his voice to me and stormed out of the room. I was shocked ! I have raised my children not to display their temper to me as I consider it disrespect. I was about to run after him and give him a piece of my mind, then asked myself if it was really necessary. Confronting him then with us both angry would only have aggravated the situation and may have resulted in a serious conflict.
Thankfully, the next day he apologised and we enjoyed a dinner together that evening. I was glad I had asked myself if it was “ really necessary ” to confront him before acting rashly.
At the release of the latest blue tooth wireless phone I was so excited that in the midst of my busy schedule I rushed to stand in a long queue just to purchase one. After a long wait I finally had the phone in my hands. I then stopped and asked myself if the purchase was really necessary. We already have five mobile phones in our household. Even my helper has one. I decided that I didn’t need to spoil myself with another, thanked the assistant and walked away. Driving back to the gallery I was glad that I’d avoided what was an impulsive purchase by asking myself, “ It is necessary? ”
I’ve had many opportunities to expand my business, locally or across the world. One offer was terribly serious and extremely tempting. After several meetings and having worked on the numbers. They looked good. The risk was low with guaranteed high return and a high chance of success. Even my feng shui master approved of the project!
But it would mean dragging out my power suits and traveling on long trips, details reminiscent of my past.
I wouldn’t be able to spend as much time at the gallery and would eventually lose focus. So I asked myself. “What is the attraction? More money with little time to spend it?”
So, when caught in a situation and prompted to respond, don’t just use your head or your heart to make a decision. Instead, ask yourself “Is it necessary?” before reacting. Chances are you won’t regret your decision.
Is this necessary, to complicate my life? Is it necessary to strive for more while I am really trying to map out an early retirement plan? The answer was obvious and the next day I called an end to the discussions.
“Is it necessary?” isn’t an intelligent mantra or a new philosophy. It’s just a very simple, soul-searching question that can be applied to every aspect of our lives. Whether it be within our daily routine or when making major decisions, it reminds us what is truly important.
So, before you open your mouth and say something you may regret , or when caught in a situation and prompted to respond- don’t just use your head or your heart to make a rash decision. Instead,ask yourself “Is it really necessary? ” before reacting. Chances are you won’t regret your decision.