All these years, there must be a lot of things you’ve learned at school and college, maybe even at work. But have you learned the biggest lesson of them all? How to be peaceful? Think about it….has anyone taught you that “Look…do this, this and this and you’ll be more happy or peaceful than you are now.” No?
Ok…let me give it a try. One of the most important things you could do to become happy and peaceful is this:
Be careful with the standards you set.
Have you heard people say, “Expect the best, but be prepared for the worst?”
Well, most of us are unhappy because we do this. You’ll probably be thinking, “This is a good policy, what’s wrong with it?”
Wait…let me explain…
You come back from work and want your wife to be nice to you. If you don’t get your cup of tea at once, or if she is on her phone, and doesn’t pay attention to you, or, if she starts telling you about some problem, you get upset.
Or, say you’re the wife. You come back tired from work…there’s still dinner to be made and your kids are quarreling about something…you scream at them to be quiet and say, “Just give me some peace!”
Your kid scores 7/10 in a test and you demand where those 3 marks went…and if it’s a teenager he’ll probably say something like – big deal, its only 3 marks….and that gets you so worked up, you go ballistic…”It’s THREE marks, how much did your friend get? You’re just not serious enough, don’t talk back to me, when I was in class 10, how much I do for you, you’re ungrateful, you’ll never succeed with this attitude”…and what not.
Get the point I’m trying to make? My wife or my husband or my child or a friend or a colleague…I expect the best from them…and from myself? Nothing at all. I don’t even realize how inappropriate my behavior is. It’s like that old proverb says…I’m all ready to point my finger at the world, but, I don’t notice the remaining fingers pointing towards myself.
I always say..
“Why did you do this or why could you not do even this much?”
“How could he even think such a thing of me?”
“If only she would stop doing xyz !”
“How can they behave like that?”
Learn to stop feeling like this…change your perspective…focus on what you can do and not on what you expect THEM to do. Instead, ask yourself these questions…
“Why did I have to say that to him?”
“Is she upset about something and not telling me directly?”
“If I stop doing xyz maybe things will be better?”
“They don’t usually behave like this…what could be the cause?”
Start making allowances for people around you…excuse them when they do something that hurts you or if they don’t do something to your satisfaction.
When it comes to my own behavior, let me focus on how I can change…where am I going wrong…do I really need to react like this…in a week’s time or a month’s time or a year’s time..will this really matter?
Be prepared for the worst from people around you. From yourself, expect the best. Make allowances for the wrongs other people do; be strict with disciplining yourself.
Practice this every day and you will find your life growing more peaceful and happy.