There’s a term in cooking called the “smoke point” of a cooking oil.
That’s when the oil gets so hot it starts to break down, burn and, smoke.
I think people are like that, too! We have points where we get so frustrated or angry we start to break down, burn, and smoke … and that’s not a good thing!
I notice it’s typically when a core or important value of ours is being challenged or threatened in some way.
So how do we avoid that?
First: Be super clear about what your values are. What are the key things – the principles you live by – that guide your life?
I have those written down on a sheet of paper that I use every day to map out what I’m going to do that day as a reminder to myself.
Second: If you’re in a situation where there’s a clear conflict between your values and another person’s, get out of that situation.
For example, if you’re in sales and represent a product you don’t truly believe in, the chances that you’ll have really good days is not too high. So, you might want to get yourself out of that situation and find something in sales that is a better match for your beliefs.
Third: If you’re in a situation where you can’t necessarily get out of it or don’t want to get out of it, but there’s a clear values clash there, be clear with other people about what your values are and what you will or won’t do in accord with those.
In life, as in cooking, it’s usually better if you don’t hit that smoke point.