Are You A Musterbator?

I hope to have caught your attention with the headline above. During the start of the spring season it is so easy for many of us to get caught up in the flurry of activity and pressures of getting in the most during the short hot summers. In fact it was during a lunch with a colleague yesterday that prompted that provocative question — Are you a musterbator? I won’t get into the details of what provoked the question. I assume many of you will recognize the undercurrent, especially given the season. Now I can’t claim ownership for this clever question. Dr. Albert Ellis, the founder of Rational Emotive Therapy actually coined the term. In a nutshell it relates to our own self-imposed rules or behaviours that we believe everyone including ourselves “must” live by. If the rules or behaviours are broken or ignored by others we become angry. If they are broken by us guilt and anxiety ensues. As you can see MUSTerbation is a trap, a self-imposed trap that causes stress and anxiety. It takes away from our ability to enjoy life fully and in the moment.

The point here is that during times of high stress (birthdays, holidays, seasonal changes) we trap ourselves into thinking that we MUST (fill in the blank with your own personalized MUSTerbation). That is the trap. In that moment we actually believe the experience to be true and necessary. The reality is it is not. Time pressures and stress put all of us on auto pilot occasionally. The result, we act in ways that are not rational. More importantly those actions are not healthy to ourselves or those we love and care for (spouses, friends, family, pets… ). In those moments of Musterbation we lose the experience. We lose our selves and our focus on what is important and relevant.

So during the start of this wonderful, warm, sunny season, I ask you to ask yourself how often you find yourself trapped by MUSTerbation. You will be surprised at how much more enjoyable each day becomes when you do things because you really want to rather than because you feel you “must”. Don’t be a musterbator, think about what you really want and need.

Source by Richard Kercz

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