Skip to main content

It is our choices that define us.


“People are disturbed not by things, but by the views they take of them — Epictetus
Life is full of challenges, but problems only exist in our mind. If you disagree with this statement, ask yourself: “What problem exists right now?
You might answer:

I can’t pay my rent. 
I’m afraid that my partner will leave me.
My job is too difficult or distasteful. 
I think I am not good enough.
It could be a million things, but I’ll ask again: “What problem exists right now?
Problems only exist in the future, and are projected by your mind: I’m going to get evicted. My relationship is going to end. I’m going to lose my job. I can't match up to those expectations. I can't complete the syllabus in time. You can’t change these situations by thinking about them; that’s called worrying.
Challenges are different. Challenges exist in the moment, and this you can act on. You could work extra hours to pay for your rent. You could be more understanding with people around you. And you could work on your weaknesses to excel at your job. You could churn up a new routine for tasks.
It’s not always that simple, of course. Not every challenge can be acted upon. Sometimes you have to accept a situation for what it is. But most people don’t act, or accept what has already occurred. They fight with reality, agonizing over what they should have done, or what they need to do.

Choices

You have three choices in every situation.
Consider this example. It’s Friday. You’re driving to work, and one of your favorite songs comes on the radio. Life is good, and you’re fully in the moment. All of a sudden you hit a traffic jam, and realize that you are going to miss an important meeting.

What do you do?

You have three options:
  1. Change it: Make a phone call and reschedule the meeting. Find a Wifi zone and join the meeting via Skype. You might even get out run if the meeting is that damn important.
  2. Accept it: You accept the situation, which of course is reality. You are in a traffic jam — this is a fact — it already is the case. Don’t get this confused with giving up. Acceptance isn’t passive. It’s the first step towards corrective action. You might make that phone call. But you accept the facts, no matter what.
  3. Resist it: This means fighting reality with your mind, torturing yourself about what you could have done, or need to do. “I should have left earlier. I should have taken a different route today. I’m going to let everyone down. This is typical. Everyone will think I’m lazy. I really hate this commute. Maybe I need a job a closer to home. My life sucks.”
It is quite insane to pick number three, but this is what most people do. They don’t take action or accept the situation. They resist reality, and become stressed about what they should have done.
“If you argue against reality, you will suffer” — Byron Katie
You have three choices in every situation. You might change it, or you might accept it, but resisting reality is always the wrong choice.
-SR

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

People Perspectives #Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius was emperor of Rome during the 2nd century AD, the last in a line of five emperors known to have ruled Rome with authority, humanity, and competence. He is renowned for being a wise and noble leader whom Plato referred to as “The Philosopher King”. His own reflections on leadership and what it means to lead a good an virtuous life were captured in a series of books known as "The Meditations", seminal texts in the school of Stoicism which are to this day often quoted.
“The things you think about determine the quality of your mind.” Marcus Aurelius The field of leadership is supported by thousands of books, videos and training courses, but of all of the texts I’ve read and the courses I’ve studied, I’ve yet to find a more pragmatic guide to being an authentic leader. The last of the Five Good Emperors, Marcus Aurelius is a reminder that despite the saying that “absolute power corrupts absolutely,” that is not always the case. At the time of his death, he was one…

People Perspectives #Maya Angelou

'Self-Made' is a myth. There is no one who is self-made. Period. All the millionaires anecdotes and rags-to-riches stories that we come across, may make us feel like we are all powerful alone and we can conquer the world alone - but that is far from the truth. We are a social conglomerate and we need to be guided, inspired and navigated by others, people who have lived and worked in the right direction more than us. The fact is that today, we ain't got the time or the opportunities to make all the mistakes we can and then learn from them. Don't believe anyone who says otherwise.

Starting to do something in life, is so similar to when we started off as babies. We didn't know a thing, had no clue about the whats, whys and wheres of any skill whatsoever. Had we been left to teach ourselves everything, most of us would still be crawling the floors and inventing  ways to ask for a sandwich. But no. We had folks to guide us, hold our hands, teach us best ways to walk, t…

A Procrastinator's Mind

Procrastination - For those wondering what it is - a genetic psychology journal describes it as the act of delaying a task until a point of discomfort, without any viable cause or reason.
We can all relate to it; it is a part of being human, having a free will. Now, whether it is a good or a bad quality is debatable. I have come across several accounts from friends, family and even strangers, with some regretting every time they procrastinate, to others who use this 'free will' gift of procrastination to be more efficient and productive. And I, too am a victim of this phenomenon - why? - I am about 4 months late in writing this post !!
It is almost the same story every single time. As the Sunday dawns away, we realize that we have blown it again. Throughout the week I feel like I do not have time to cook, eat, do the laundry, write a post, complete my book and do the usual odd errand. And I eagerly lean towards the weekend - stacking up - to finally get some work done in the two…