I listened to a podcast recently that has stuck with me… one short piece of it specifically. I’m paraphrasing because it’s been a few weeks since I listened and I’m feeling too lazy right now to go back and find the exact part in a 3 hour episode.
Someone can decide if you are happy or unhappy if you let them. If you live in a reactive state, you let others determine your happiness.
Uff what a slap in the face that statement can be. How many times have you been having a great day and something happens that absolutely ruins it? Maybe someone said something to you. Or your plans didn’t go as expected. Whatever the “cause” may have been… your reaction to what was said or what happened is the true cause to it ruining your day.
When the pandemic first hit, I started watching quite a bit of stand up comedy. I used to not like stand up much at all, because I didn’t like when the comedian would rip on people or make fun of something. It made me feel anxious that other people might be offended. Did you hear that? I was fearful that someone else might become uncomfortable. I let myself be affected by something completely out of my control. What the hell?
I began listening to a few podcasts by comedians. I learned all about the art that is comedy. I grew to appreciate it and look at it with a completely different lens. Now, it is my go-to on a night like tonight when I just want to chill and laugh.
To prep for my yoga teacher training 3 years ago (I cannot believe it’s been that long), we had a required reading list. (I promise all of these stories will come together.) One of the books I read was The Four Agreements. I wrote a whole series on this book… that’s how much of an impact it had on me.
- Be impeccable with you word.
- Don’t take anything personally.
- Don’t make assumptions.
- Always do your best.
I recently lead a department meeting focusing on mental health. I had the idea to share this book and the messages it presents with the employees. The podcast hits on some of the same things, but just phrases it differently… a connection I just made tonight.
Let’s walk through a scenario. Somebody said they think you are ugly. You get upset. Why? You assumed that the statement was a true reflection of your appearance, but it is actually due to the person being upset about something within themselves. Do they think they’re ugly? Do they feel insecure around you? If you take what they said personally, you let it affect your happiness. You are choosing to be upset…
Alright, bringing it all together for the wrap up. I had two different conversations with people today about the state of our society. These days everything is offensive to someone. You have to walk on eggshells and constantly watch what you say. While I am in favor of being polite and respectful to others, I don’t know what’s going on in every person’s life (I can barely keep track of my own).
If everyone went about life deciding to respond to others versus react, wouldn’t the world be a less hostile environment for all of us? What if we took hate, and instead of reacting with more hate, just took a moment to appreciate that everyone is going through something. To stop and think, why am I letting myself get upset over this? Wouldn’t that make life simpler? And much more enjoyable?
Thoughts to leave you with as I continue to ponder too.