Lesson From A Water Bottle

A Critical Doer controls what is theirs to control


The best lessons in life are the simple ones.  A story from a neighbor provided another great reminder.

My neighbor’s son received some sage advice from a teacher that perfectly reflects the Critical Doer trait of controlling what is yours to control.  The teacher used the illustration of a soda bottle (pop bottle for readers not from the southern US states) and a water bottle.  If you shake up a soda bottle and open it up, the reaction is uncontrolled and in most instances makes the contents of the bottle unusable.  If you shake up a water bottle and open it up, there is no reaction and the contents of the bottle are totally usable.  Both bottles were shaken, but there was a difference in reaction.

This simple lesson highlights the choice that determines our effectiveness in turning thinking into effective doing as we work with other people.  We can’t control all the circumstances that cause agitation, annoyance, frustration and uncertainty.  What we can control is whether we choose to react to the agitation and even how we react.  Lashing out against every source of agitation limits the prospects of meaningful action because in addition to alienating constituents, it clouds the real issue and the personalities become larger than the problem.  In choosing to be a water bottle where all things are kept in perspective and differences are not automatically interpreted as insult or injury, there is a sense of calm that provides stability and the ability to move forward under all conditions.

Your challenge is to find a situation where being a water bottle rather than a soda bottle could help resolve a stalemate and pave the way for progress.  In making the choice to control your reaction to agitation, you can ensure the messengers do not become bigger than the message and all your energy can be focused on solving problems and creating opportunities rather than managing personalities. Make the smart choice today to control what’s yours to control; it’s what a Critical Doer would…do!


Reminder:  you can get automatic updates from The Critical Doer by using the subscription widget at the bottom of this post.  You can also follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.  I also encourage you to let me know what you think of the posts or share a story of your own using the comments section or email me directly at [email protected].


Updated: October 11, 2016 — 4:05 pm