Martin Messier

December 2, 2023

“Don’t Drink The Coconuts”

When we took a break from our basketball practice, Rui looked at me and said: "There are a few mini coconut trees behind the elementary building. Let's go grab a few to drink!"

I was always worried about getting in trouble, but was definitely up for mischievous adventures. I thought: "Let's see where this goes..." We headed to the back of the school. In fact, there were four beautiful coconut trees with plump coconuts hanging from the branches.

We each grabbed a coconut and then I turned to Rui and asked: "What if Mr. Dieffenbacher comes over?"

Rui then looked at me and uttered words that would reframe "getting into trouble" for me.

He said: "What is he going to do? He's just going to say: 'Don't drink the coconuts.' Whatever..."

In that moment, I understood that there are actually different categories of trouble. One is real trouble. The other one only exists in our head, and it's often the kind that's used to control us.

When reframing changes your understanding of a concept, it's incredibly useful. When it changes your understanding of behavior, it's unbelievably powerful.

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