Oppose the Default Mode by Chase Butler
By Chase Butler
MP3 Teaching Download
By Jeremy Lopez
I think we all have default modes we go to when we are tired, bored, angry, or hurt. I remember a time in my life when I intentionally tried to do whatever the opposite of my first inclination was, even with unimportant, simple things.
Once it was raining when I pulled up at my apartment, so instead of running in I stood there and got soaked. You don't realize how relaxing an outdoor shower is until you aren't running to escape it or complaining about getting wet.
Another night I was tired but a meteor shower was coming through, so I stayed up and drove an hour in search of clear skies. To be honest, I never saw a single meteor but I enjoyed the late night search much more than going home to watch Netflix.
As I opposed the default mode I found a deeper sense of adventure and joy.
Recently I made a connection with this principle when I encountered grace being shown in a situation where bitterness would have been justified by the world's standards. The opposite display of concern and love encouraged and motivated me immediately.
You open yourself up to a different world when you oppose the default mode, not just with how you navigate your day-to-day but with how you navigate your heart and the hearts of others.
So when you feel entitled to condemn, show grace. When you feel justified to complain, be understanding. When you feel sad, choose to be grateful. You'll start to sense a shift not only in your perspective but how you're influencing the world around you.
Start simple. Take the long way home. Don't get frustrated when your order is wrong. Make the call you've been putting off. Ask a random person how they are. Just go against the easy, default mode and be pleasantly surprised when life is suddenly engaging again.
I was meeting with someone last week who noticed my ring and asked how long I had been married. "Marriage is grand," he said, "and divorce is five hundred grand." You could feel the tragedy even through the joke. I laughed somewhat nervously and paused to let him elaborate. Just behind the humor was an obvious sadness. A few days later another person told me about his childhood and the pain he felt from being made fun of for being overweight.
There is a gas station I stop at periodically on my way home where a very angry man works. I'll refer to him as Angry Ninja because in conversation he once told me he practices martial arts. Angry Ninja towers over me and is always wearing a hip, knit beanie. If you walked in right now he would tell you his grievances with little introduction. You've met these people before. They're always prepared, ready to unpack today's dose of "everything sucks" at the first opportunity. Always something different, always negative.
I spend a lot of time trying to see the world through a positive, hopeful lens. I realize, though, some of you might feel left out. What about those who want to strike a match and watch it burn? What if you're really trying to mess things up? Well, this week is for you. Here are ten surefire ways to make it a little harder for all of us. Oversimplify complicated issues, then have a very loud opinion about it. Share those opinions as often as possible, especially on social media via memes. Limit your influences and embrace confirmation bias. Only seek information that already supports your existing beliefs. Live in an echo chamber. It feels real nice not having anyone disagree.