Don't take it personally, take action.

"The best revenge is to be unlike those who performed the injury."

- Marcus Aurelius


Over the past week, an event occurred that gave me the opportunity to practice what I preach.

It is not about you

When we have events that happen in our life, that “feel” as though we have been slighted, or personally attacked we must be diligent.  Careful to remember that most of what you see in other people and the things you may hear from them are more about what is going on with you than anything they may do or be.

What is my part?

When you are faced with what is perceived as someone causing you harm you have to look at yourself first.  “What is my role in this situation?”  “Could I have handled this exchange differently?”  “Did I do something to trigger that reaction in them?”  “Was I mindful of exactly what I said or was I running on autopilot?”  “Is my perception wrong?”  What if what we perceived is much different then what the “offender” intended.  I would suspect that happens more often than anything does.  We make mistakes when we assume that the chattering in our head is the same as the chattering in another person's head.  We act as if we can, but I have yet to meet anyone who can read another person’s thoughts.

Learn to detach and analyze

How does one separate from a situation when your blood pressure rises and emotions are involved?  The first thing to do is to change your physiology.  You can change your physiology by bringing your attention to your breath.  When you feel your internal temperature rising, or you feel personally injured do what the Navy Seals do.  Breathe in for four seconds.  Breathe out for four seconds.  Repeat for four minutes.  As they call it “4 x 4 to 4.”  I guarantee you will feel differently after this exercise.  When you have become detached, ask yourself the above questions and proceed from there.

Take Action

I am adopting a new approach in my life.  It stems from studying the philosophy of Stoicism.  I have resolved to no longer take things personally even if in the rare event that it is personal.  Now I will take action.  Action conquers fear.  Action supplantes resentment.  Action helps me to let go of the past.  We assemble our lives action by action.  Action in spite of perceived grievances determines the course of my life.


Until Next Week,

Rich Decker – Mindful Accord