Fortress Of Zen – 30 Day Challenge – Day 22

30 Day Challenge Random

I used to let a lot of things bother me, and I mean a lot of things. In recent times however I’ve come to realize that it takes more

zen stones
Image courtesy of Ervins Strauhmanis

effort to get upset over something than it does to just let it go.

And, like the song in Disney’s Frozen, I have learned to let it go.

Nature vs. Nurture?

Was I predisposed to overreacting and getting upset over something for no reason? Was I born with a hypersensitivity to my surroundings? I mean, is it possible to be allergic to close talkers or people chewing with their mouth?

No and no. At least I don’t think so.

Our physical traits, hair, eyes, nose, etc, are inherited from our parents. Often we’ll hear, “oh you look just like your father,” or “you have your mother’s eyes.” But the nature vs. nurture debate argues that our personality traits are learned (nurture) and are not inherited.

Could growing up in New York have made me bitter? (I hope you read that last sentence with as much sarcasm as it was written with).

It’s very possible that seeing people around me get upset over trivial things for years could have shaped my perception of how I was supposed to act. 

Retraining My Brain

I realized it wasn’t healthy to be upset and angry all the time so I sought to alter my perception of everything around me.

One quote in particular resonated a lot with me and made me realize that I was responsible for my own happiness.

The mind is everything. What you think you become.

What you think, you become. Amazingly simple. There is was staring right back at me, my answer to how I was going to change. This quote prompted me to shift my thinking on many different levels.

Some examples of things that would annoy me:

  • People chewing with my mouth open
  • Loud (cell phone) talkers on the train
  • Commute Delays
  • Tourists

It took some time but I eventually started to rethink my approach to how I dealt with certain situations. No longer would I let these things bother me and fester within.

My approach to these situations now:

  • People chewing with my mouth open
    • I’m happy we live in a society where we’re able to get food when we want it and that no one around me is starving. Perhaps that particular person never learned to eat with etiquette, I can’t be concerned with that.
  • Loud (cell phone) talkers on the train
    • I’m not familiar with their story. Maybe that particular conversation will lead to a better job or they are closing on a house. Either way there must be a good reason for them to be disturbing the peace of everyone around them.
  • Commute Delays
    • Though it’s not fun being held to by something that is out of our control, it’s just that, out of our control. I’m just glad I have a seat and can remotely log in to my work computer if necessary. I’ve also noticed that the more patient I am, the faster the delays appear to be resolved.
  • Tourists
    • I could write a novel on how annoying tourists can be. On the flip side however, we’ve all been there; lost in another country or confused and turned around. So what did I do to change my insight on this? I started helping them: offering directions, offering to take their picture, etc. I can’t help them all but the ones I do stop to help are very appreciative.

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.


About the Author:

An SEO in NYC with a penchant for the technical side of things. Father, Husband, Novice Photographer and Music Lover.

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