05/16/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011


My office is two miles from my house. There are two stoplights between house and office. For the first six months after moving into my new house, all I thought about was the great commute I had. Didn't matter if I got behind a school bus or hit one or both of the stoplights.

By month #7, however, the school buses started to irritate me. I mean does the bus have to stop at every other driveway? Back in Ohio, when I grew up, the stops were at least one-half mile apart.

By month #12, I began to get frustrated by the first of the two stop lights. If I got caught at that light, then I would almost always hit the second light. I mean that makes no sense, does it? If the first light grabs you, the second light should be a free pass.

Pathetic isn't it??

Somewhere along the way from month #1 to month #12, I lost my perspective. Instead of reminding myself every day that I had one of the shortest commutes of anyone in America (excepting home entrepreneurs), I started bemoaning the school bus traffic. And so on.

It was around this time that I started reading about Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and framing. Framing is most simply how you position situations, obligations or events to yourself. Oftentimes your reaction to events depends in large part on how you position them in your mind:

"If we perceive something as a liability, that's the message we deliver to our brain. Then the brain produces states that make it a reality. If we change our frame of reference by looking at the same situation from a different point of view, we can change the way we respond in life."

Unlimited Power, Anthony Robbins

Needless to say, I have stopped crabbing about getting caught behind school buses or hitting traffic lights. In this and many other more important ways, I have tried to develop an ability to frame events in a positive manner. I still have some work to do, however, because just this morning I yelled at the driver in front of me (talking on a cell phone) who caused me to catch that darned first traffic light.

Jim Randel is the founder of The Skinny On books. These books are winning the raves of customers around the United States. Here are some of the comments we've received: "eye candy for the brain" ... "minimalist magic" ... "a truly unique reading experience."

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