It works big time!
We met someone recently who is very depressed and lost in Life. He said he’s out of money, he’s had a break-up, he’s not able to get along with his colleagues at work and has lost hope that anything “good” will happen in his Life! He spent an hour lamenting about his situation to us. Then, tired of his own rants, he confessed, “Honestly, I don’t even know which one is my problem – everything is so muddled, so depressing, so hopeless, so dark…”
I interrupted him. I said, “Do you have a Twitter account? If you don’t, set up one. And go define your problem as a single Tweet, within 140 characters. You don’t have to post your Tweet. Just use that opportunity to define your problem. See what happens and please share your learning with us.”
The gentleman appeared confused at first. But two days ago he called me to say, he was very clear the “technique” worked! He announced, “I was able to nail my problem – it is this: I am a constant complainer.”
I told him that if he was clear and convinced what his problem was, well, he surely knows what to do. He immediately agreed!
Twitter Therapy, if I may call it, has always worked for me. Most of the time, the human mind plays up unnecessary drama – events and emotions – that magnifies any given situation beyond proportion or at times, even clouds logical, practical thinking! This gentleman, for instance, was having a problem in his relationships because he was constantly complaining, depressed and negative. He has a job and a regular source of income, but he was constantly complaining of lack of money. So, for the longest time, he thought everything was wrong with everyone around him. Therefore, he was depressed. But when he tried to examine why he was feeling so, and tried to define his problem statement in 140 characters or less, without having the luxury to complain endlessly, he found that he needed to change himself for his Life to change.
Some years ago, when I was besieged by guilt, anger, hatred and grief, over my own mother calling me a cheat (read more here: Fall Like A Rose Petal), for months on end I cooked within myself, suffering, suffering, suffering. Then I employed Twitter Therapy. I struggled with defining what my problem with being called a cheat by my mother was. I went on to explain past issues. Then justifications needed to be given. I had also to acknowledge my role in causing some of the poor chemistry between me and my mother. My first draft of the definition of my “problem relationship” with my mother was 10,000+ words long. After several rounds of editing, I managed to bring it to 1000 words and thought I couldn’t define it any briefer than that. That’s when I chanced upon Twitter as a medium for the first time – in 2009. And I thought up this why-not-define-your-problem-statement-in-a-Tweet idea! It worked big time. My problem statement was simple: Not just now, my mother never ever trusted me! Simple. Period. Immediately, acceptance came in. My anger, grief, guilt, hatred – all my debilitating emotions dissolved. Acceptance led me to complete inner peace.
Since then, I have always championed the use of Twitter Therapy. The import here is simple. Can you define your problem – whatever’s worrying you, disturbing you, haunting you, tormenting you – in one sentence? Can you keep that sentence crisp, clear and focused? Can it be said in 140 characters or less? If you can, then you have hit the core of your problem on its head. Once you know what the problem is, without any emotional underpinnings or layers, you can either attempt a careful resolution or you can accept it and move on. So, try it on whatever you are sweating over, worried about or fearing just now. Peel off all the drama and state your problem in 140 characters or less. You will feel liberated with the clarity, and inner peace, that follows!