Keep it to yourself!
Adapt and move on
What if something happens to us?
This can be good or bad, a stroke of good fortune or an affliction. How should we respond? There are four ways. By far the most useful is simply to accept what has happened, keep it to ourselves, adapt as we need to and then continue to live our lives.
Less healthy is to keep it to ourselves and, if it is good fortune, preen ourselves on how clever or deserving we are. Or, if it is an affliction, ruminate on: why me? It is so unfair; I don’t deserve this!
Alternatively, we can share what has happened with others. If our ego is strong, we might share in a way that is hurtful to others. We boast about our good fortune, implying that others are less capable or less deserving. If we are afflicted, and suffering, then we want others to suffer as well, we try to put them down in some way, spread our suffering around.
If our ego is weak then, if afflicted, we seek out others’ pity, if we have good fortune, then we seek others’ approval and praise.This neediness is unappealing and neither good for us nor for those we affect.
Sharing in either of these ways is not helpful to us nor to those around us.
Keeping something to ourselves and either ruminating or preening ourselves on our good fortune are also unhealthy ways of responding (chronic rumination is related to the onset of both depression and anxiety) and a waste of our time and attention.
The healthy way is to accept whatever happens with equanimity, adjust our lives as we must and then continue to move along our life’s purpose with joy in our hearts.
John Corrigan is an expert in helping individuals to bring their whole of mind to their daily life and increase their effectiveness and the effectiveness of those around them. This expertise scales from the individual to the team to the organisation. At the core of this work is the practice of encounter. Earlier blogs can be found here.
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