How to Not Let Anything Bother You
I was in a mad dash to an important client meeting. I was out of breath, weaving in between people on the sidewalk left and right to get myself uptown.
I was behind schedule, but if I kept up this pace I might only be a few minutes late.
But then there he was, the fat guy. He was about as wide as the sidewalk and he was walking at a snail’s pace.
I had to slam on my proverbial breaks and nearly come to a complete stop.
How could someone be so inconsiderate? Why would anyone be walking so slow in New York? What’s this guy’s problem?
I began cursing him in my mind, insulting his physique and imagining him sitting on his couch in Jersey eating donuts every night without ever losing his virginity.
As I cast spells on this fat man in my head, I became even more stressed about missing the meeting. I imagined the client getting angry for wasting his time and insulting my ability to follow through on my commitments.
Then I turned on myself for not leaving earlier and began chastising myself for being a lazy failure.
But just as I was cursing the day I was born, I realized this thinking was absurd. Some reason came to me…
Did he have any idea that I had to be at an important meeting? He probably didn’t even see me because I was coming from behind him.
Who said he has to walk fast? I myself like a leisurely stroll from time to time.
Why would I let something like this get me down? What benefit will it have for me to be mad or self-deprecating over this? None, of course.
How much of my time had he even wasted? A few seconds? He was definitely not the reason why I was late.
I could not change the fact that I didn’t plan my schedule better. I did not know what the client would say when I got there. I could not control how he would feel or what he would do. I could not wave a magic wand and have everyone removed from the sidewalk.
What was the best action I could take right now to make this meeting?
I slowly walked around him on the street, laughed about letting something so insignificant bring me down, and picked up the pace, doing my best to make the meeting.
There are a million things to worry about. The economy, my savings account, fat people walking slowly on the sidewalk. There are a million little things that can ruin your day, even your life.
There are also a million small things you can do everyday to be more happy, productive, and successful. Getting mad about fat people walking slowly on the street is not one of them.
- Question the validity of your negative thoughts.
- There’s no sense worrying about what’s outside of your control: in the past or in the future.
- Accept reality and focus on what’s in your control.
- Choose the thoughts and actions that will help you achieve the best result.