“Getting clued in about what drives you to “chocolate” can help you deal with the situation in a more productive, healthy way.” —Misti Burmeister

A few years ago, I drove from Baltimore to D.C. to meet with a new client about his corporate vision. This was a last-minute thing, so I planned to get the signed contract when I arrived. I was more than halfway there when I got a call from Renee, the company’s director of human resources.

“I’m looking at this contract,” Renee said. “Our budget is tight. Is there any way we can add ‘facilitating a day-long leadership retreat?’”

She wanted to renegotiate a contract I was driving down to deliver on right now?!

Frustrated, I pulled over into a parking lot where there happened to be a Trader Joe’s. After I finished the conversation – and said no – I found myself in the Trader Joe’s check-out line with the biggest bar of chocolate I could find.

I polished off the bar just as I pulled up to their office. Then I realized that I had to coach the CEO with a caffeine and sugar high!

Why did I just eat an entire bar of chocolate? I asked myself. The answer was simple: Because this situation was irritating, and chocolate is my favorite medicine.

Moral of the story: Our “medicines” give us important clues to pay attention to. They help us figure out what’s really bothering us so that we can shift our attitudes and/or courses of action.

Now when I start craving chocolate, I stop and ask myself why. Sometimes I really just want some sugary goodness. But most of the time, I discover something is bothering me – something that needs to be addressed with something other than candy.

What is your “chocolate bar”? Perhaps it’s ice cream, a glass of wine, a cigarette, or some other vice. But there’s probably something you crave when you are stressed or upset? And getting clued in about what drives you to “chocolate” can help you deal with the situation in a more productive, healthy way.

Join the Conversation:  So, are you listening?

Keeping it simple,

Misti Burmeister, best-selling author of From Boomers to Bloggers: Success Strategies Across GenerationsHidden Heroes and Power Suck.

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