In the three decades I have lived on this earth, I have definitely had many situations where I was not the bigger person. I have lost my temper, said things I regret, and of course, taken someone’s actions as a disrespect to myself and lashed out accordingly.
In the last few years I have grown to appreciate my inner peace and sanity. As the world around me grows more noisy every day, I strive to keep my own mind quiet and calm. I haven’t joined the buddhist monks or anything… I have just not allowed the assholes to turn me into an asshole.
After reading the book Daring Greatly, that was recommended by a great friend, I realized how the human ego effects all of our interactions with each other. And not just the stereotypical macho-man ego. Our judgment of other’s actions is clouded by our own ego on a regular basis. We view things as an attack on us, a plot to damage our reputation, career, life, etc. This type of reaction to the world around us will breed stress, frustration, fear and ultimately unhappiness. It sounds cliché to say it, but… don’t make everything about you.
As soon as I started applying this principle to my life, I saw a drastic change in my people-related stress. I spent less time obsessing what other people were doing to me and thinking about me. I stopped perceiving my own value through the lens of other people. I was no longer letting the actions of other people effect my actions, whether in the immediate moment, or long term.
The benefits of this self-realization have positively effected many aspects of my life. The workplace, my relationships, my friendships… and even random acquaintances. It has allowed me to remain calm in otherwise stressful situations and keep my eyes on the larger picture at all times. I am not sinking to asshole-level, just because I have encountered one. And beyond that, I have a greater understanding of the assholes. When you stop making things about yourself, you start to notice other people and the real cause of their actions and words.
I’m still not perfect. And none of these rules apply if you drive too slow in the left lane on I-285… but I truly believe that choosing to remove your “ego-lens” when viewing the actions of people around you will bring you one step closer to nirvana.