This post is pretty much a last minute thing. I have been bugging myself all week about wanting to perfect all the things that I do, without accepting that I am human and mistakes are a part of learning.
These are a set of words I have read numerous times and even had a therapist or two repeat the words to me when I’ve told them about how many petty, avoidable bust-ups I have had with people, be it with people who just have the ability to push my buttons, or idiots on social media who fish for that type of reaction.
‘Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear? ~Lao Tzu
I’m going to be blunt here and quote the life of Bryan, “life’s a piece of shit when you look at it”. Anything that can go wrong usually does. As tempting as it is to just give in to the temptation of rage, it isn’t always worth it.
An example of something that happened to me recently, I was hit by an unexpected fee from Amazon, I did manage to sort a refund but just to add to my irritation, it was due days after I needed the money to pay my phone bill.
Naturally, I didn’t want to miss my bill payment, I haven’t had it out long, and it’s my first contract.
I called my bank and asked them to release the money back into my account instantly, I couldn’t afford to not have that money. The bank told me that they could not release the funds unless Amazon sends them a fax with the relevant details to release the funds, natural right? Far from it!
Amazon pretty much told me they couldn’t do that, so I went back to the bank pleading, they told me there’s nothing they can do.
At that stage, I just called the loan company, who were super helpful but couldn’t help me much. Now to wrap this story up, I wound up being overdrawn because I didn’t get the money back in time.
The image above sums up how I felt about that situation. Calling the overall condition frustrating wouldn’t be doing it justice. I honestly wanted to throw my phone to the floor and to scream so many obscenities. That wouldn’t have been productive, it wouldn’t have helped the situation, it would have made things infinitely worse. The bill wouldn’t have been paid anyway, and I’d have to pay for a new phone.
I was annoyed, beyond annoyed but I thought about my options and decided it was just better to leave it be for the time being. There wasn’t anything I could do. The bill had been paid, despite the looming unplanned overdraft fees. I could just pay it off with the money I was getting back. I told myself.
You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.
It all worked out in my favour in the end, so I am glad I didn’t react the way I initially wanted to. These tips are what has been helping me as of late when it comes to picking my battles:
Ask yourself, will it matter in 5 years? In my situation, 99% of the answers have always been no. If it won’t affect you down the line, it doesn’t warrant a big reaction.
Breathe: Before you make a decision take a long, deep breath. It’s all too easy to react in the heat of the moment, taking a breath will help you feel more present.
Walk away: If it is an irritating social interaction or situation you can return to later, just walk away. It saves you from reacting and potentially making it worse. You can always return to the task or the person later on.
Think through your options: Sometimes, there is a solution to your problem that you may have missed.
Acceptance: Sometimes, there just isn’t anything you can do in the present moment. Take some time for care, like my story, it could fix itself down the line.
These are things that work for me, they might not apply to others. If you are in serious trouble, reach out to the relevant services.
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