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Wednesday / May 18.
HomemilastwordThe Way of Serenity

The Way of Serenity

There are things that hassle us everywhere we look but if we allow ourselves to get agitated by every little thing, the only one that suffers ends up being ourselves, not the guy driving 50km per hour in a 60 speed zone or the two slow trucks taking up both lanes at peak hour.

Little annoyances are a fact of life, we can’t escape them. But how we deal with them is our choice. We can choose to get whipped up by them and vent our frustration; pretend they don’t exist and bottle up the tension or accept they’re there and just part of life.

How many times do you catch yourself or others decreeing “these things always happen to me” then they do, and the cycle continues.

When you think about it, life would be less stressful if we learnt to accept the things we can’t change and took action to change the things we can. That might sound like giving up, but in fact, it’s all about perspective… Accepting what we can’t change doesn’t make us complacent, it makes us wise. It takes courage to let go and allow the outcome to land of its own accord.

The world is made up of everyone who isn’t you, but you are the only person
under your control

For those day to day things we can’t change, that gnaw at us, one practical way to start the process of purging ourselves of them is to write down the stressor on a piece of paper then tear it up or burn it in the bin. There’s nothing more liberating than watching those words disappear into ash. This process won’t get rid of the stress immediately but it’s a start.

So, if a colleague who insists on leaving the ring tone on their mobile turned to high volume, or sweats all over their computer after a lunchtime run drives you to utter distraction, instead of getting frustrated with them,
get up and go for a walk.

Let the stress of that moment drop off you. Not everyone does things the way you do. The world is made up of everyone who isn’t you, but you are the only person under your control.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn asked in his novel, The First Circle, “if you wanted to put the world to rights, who should you begin with: yourself or others?”

The way we handle every day stressful situations is deeply rooted in us and can be our worst enemy. Identifying our reactions and behaviour is half the battle. To make changes takes focus and determination… and that’s what
can lead to success.

Successful people accept what they can control and don’t waste time trying to control what they can’t. Instead of focussing on the noise and clutter, they block it out and zoom in on the big picture, on their vision for life. They concentrate on making changes to themselves.

Developing “the wisdom to know the difference” between what’s important and not important to change in our lives will not only make us more successful in our personal life but in our work life as well.


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