Most reactions are overreactions. Here we look at dampening our response function.

When people injured you, ask yourself what good or harm they thought would come of it. If you understand that, you'll feel sympathy rather than outrage or anger. Your sense of good and evil may be the same as them, in which case you have to excuse them; or if it isn't, they're misguided, and deserve your compassion. Is that so hard?

Marcus Aurelius

It so happens that the rational and the irrational are different for different persons, precisely as good and evil, and the profitable and the unprofitable are different for different persons.


Never blame on conspiracy what can be explained by incompetence


What these three quotes are trying to tell us is that most of the time, when we feel slighted in some way; when we think we have been offended or unjustly ignored; this was not done on purpose, but in ignorance.

Ignorance does not necessarily mean stupidity, or not knowing what there is to know in the world (although it could); it refers to ignorance of us.

That is, the offending party does not know what we are sensitive to, what we think or who we really are.

It could be ignorance of omission - they should know, but they simply haven't thought about it.

Either way, most of the time, people's intent is not to hurt or upset. They do it, but not intentionally.

Furthermore, we must consider that our framework isn't the only framework, and our assumptions aren't everyone's assumptions. We may think something was obviously going to cause upset; but someone else, if asked, may not have reached that conclusion.

Thus, what we see as obvious and logical, may not be to somebody else.

So ask yourself - when was the last one you set out to deliberately upset, hurt or annoy someone?

When was the last time you intentionally made an upsetting comment to hurt someone's feeling; or missed a deadline to intentionally disrupt colleagues workflows?

One would hope the answer is hardly ever or never; so, the next time your blood starts boiling at things that have made you suffer in some way, remember:

Things don't happen TO YOU; they just HAPPEN

This is vitally important, as a day framed where everyone is in some way out to get you will be a miserable day. Allowing our ego to dominate our thoughts, and allowing our judgemental self to determine our responses will result in anger and upset.

And who suffers most from this? You, of course. You, who will experience the most unpleasantness from these feelings; and you, who will overreact to others and damage relationships.

The cumulative impact of this mindset is massive.

Deciding to react emotionally, or dispassionately; to life's daily bump and grind of imaginary and perceived slights makes all the difference to how your daily life becomes.

Do you want to be someone who spends their day consumed with anger, full of frustration and despair? This will exhaust you, drain your energy and restrict you from being productive, and turn you into negative energy for everyone else.

Or, do you choose to be calm and serene in the face of life's daily adversities, big and small - knowing that nothing is personal, and most is innocent. You still don't like a flat tyre or a rude neighbour - but aren't they easier to deal with when you think they are but children, who know not what they do?

It is a binary mindset change, but an incredibly powerful one.

Think it through. Change your view. Change your life.

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