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.

Lessons Learned

  • 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.