While growing up, I often watched a game show on TV called Truth or Consequences. Contestants were given a question to answer. Failing to answer the question, the contestant had to face “consequences,” typically by performing a zany and embarrassing stunt. The host traditionally ended each episode with the phrase, “Hoping all your consequences are happy ones.” However, as the picture suggests, we are better off knowing the truth than having to pay the consequences.

The next few Wellness Wednesdays will focus on the more serious real-life experience of consequences we encounter when we don’t know the truth. We will consider some of the conditions we experience that block us from knowing the truth.

One of the very first topics we covered when we began Wellness Wednesday three years ago was Living Above or Below the Line. This concept focuses on being aware of when our thinking is Above the Line and working in our best interest or Below the Line and not working in our best interest. Some of the differences between living Above or Below the Line are presented in the following image:

We see things differently whether we are Above or Below the Line. When we are Above the Line, we have a clearer and more accurate sense of reality. When we are Below the Line, we have a more foggy and inaccurate sense of reality. When Above the Line, we might see a problem as an opportunity. When Below the Line, a problem is viewed as a hopeless roadblock.

Invitations: Conditions can come up in our lives that invite us to go Below the Line. What conditions do you experience that invite you to go Below the Line?

Examples: traffic, weather, someone disagreeing with you, change, stress

Indicators: Feelings we have or behaviors we exhibit can be indicators that our thinking is not working in our best interest. How do you know when you are Below the Line?

Examples: tired, needing to be right, self-doubt, sarcasm, withdrawing

If we are not aware that we are Below the Line, we will use our flawed thinking to make decisions…decisions that will result in a mess and undesirable consequences. I once got a technical foul while coaching a basketball team because I was unaware that I was Below the Line. Recall a decision you once made when you were Below the Line. What resulted from that Below the Line decision?

Trampolines: If we are aware that we are Below the Line, we can bounce back Above the Line before making important decisions. We want our thinking to be working in our best interest. Trampolines are those things we can do that will get us Above the Line.

Examples: sleep, exercise, hobbies, listening to music, being with positive people, meditation, being grateful

By becoming aware of the truth about our thinking, we can avoid undesirable consequences. Do a quick check in on your thinking. In this moment are you Above or Below the Line? Plan to check in on your thinking once each morning, afternoon, and night so you are aware of being Above or Below the Line.

From our team…Willow, Kevin, and Tom…who help me live Above the Line.

Paul Bernabei
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