It is certain that either you or someone you know has had a problem that has inevitably created unnecessary stress. I have often pondered on ways to eliminate some of the problems and stresses that we are plagued with each day. Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Chin said, “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. ” Based on this, I was aware that if I was going to succeed in this stress-elimination process, I must know others and myself as well. I believe that I have achieved my goal.
I use logic to encourage people to recognize their responsibilities, to evaluate situations individually, and to make choices that remove unnecessary stress from their lives, all of which is based on a concept and incentive of not wasting time. Martha Washington said, “The greatest part of our happiness or misery depends on our disposition and not our circumstances. ” It is our decision whether or not to be happy. The obvious choice is easier to make if we recognize our responsibilities. We are responsible for what pertains to us as individuals. Anything outside of that area is not ours to accept.
For example, my responsibilities include completing school, keeping up my home, and having a good relationship with God, my husband, my children and myself. Our childhood is a factor that does not belong on our list of responsibilities. Realizing our faults and our childhood reasons for them is an ideal was of taking responsibility for and changing our attitudes and personalities. Someone that may disappoint or hurt us is another example. We are not responsible for the actions of others; however, we are responsible for how those actions affect us.
Someone once told my family and friends that I did not keep my house clean well enough to suit her standards. While this hurt my feelings immensely, I knew that despite having 3 babies, I kept a decent house. I ultimately decided that what someone else thought about me or mine was not on my list of responsibilities. We have so many responsibilities of our own that being hurt or disappointed by others and trying to figure out why is a waste of time. Those inconveniences belong to the person who causes us the stress.
To stray from our own personal responsibilities results in worry, confusion, and/or many other stressful emotions that waste our time. Voltaire said that “no problem can stand the assault of sustained thinking. ” I believe that sustained thinking of a problem involves first making sure that it belongs to us and second, breaking it down into simple truths. We must make sure that the problem is on our list of responsibilities, not someone else’s. Then, we must analyze the problem and distinguish facts from wishes. Facts are the “black and white” of a problem, and wishes are the “gray.
” Facts of a problem are what’s real, and only from the “black and white” can we evaluate a problem and control the outcome. Consider the situation mentioned earlier. The fact that my feelings were hurt applied to my responsibilities. The wish part in this situation would be, “I wish she hadn’t said that,” or “What if everyone believes her? ” The only part of this that I could control was how I felt about it, and allowing myself to be hurt and angry only wasted my time. Parts of a problem that we cannot control, such as “what if,” “he said,” and “she said,” are “gray” wishes and must be disposed.
Poor evaluation of a problem only wastes our time and inevitably leads us to make costly decisions. By knowing our responsibilities and how to sort and distinguish our problems, we can effectively make choices in our lives that will reduce stress rather than induce it. We must make choices that best suit our list of logical ones. To worry about what someone will think is not on our list therefore a waste of time. Our choices must make us happy, and we must be confident in our decisions. As I like to say, “Make your life’s decisions and choices based on what you would want your child to do.
” I would not want my child to be hurt by someone who had said that, nor would I want her stewing in anger. I would want her to know that choosing to even acknowledge the statement would not only be a waste of time but also display a lack of confidence in herself. If we make choices that are not suitable to us, the problem will only return and demand resolution, yet again resulting in wasted time. The most important thing to remember is that despite our faults, we all deserve happiness, and anyone who lives his or her life believing that will make good choices and should be commended.
This entire process is what I consider my forte. I have helped others apply it to their lives, and in return, they have helped me apply it to mine. It is a concept that is easier said than done, and it may not be for everyone. I have, however, seen it in successful action. A major incentive to apply this method is to look at our lives and see how much or how little of it has been wasted time. No matter what, do not get discouraged and always remember, “no matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow (Dennis Waitley). “