I saw a version of this Mother Teresa quote on Facebook this morning, and I think it goes along with my last post on the Keys to Happiness. I think sometimes it is easy for us to forget that our happiness depends far more on our own choices than it does on the choices of others. We are not REQUIRED to be bitter about something that someone else has done to us; it is a choice. We are not REQUIRED to be unforgiving, just because someone has not asked for forgiveness or doesn’t “deserve” it; it is a choice.
When we attribute our behavior to someone else, we are granting them control over us by not taking responsibility for our choices. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t want to hand the reins over to the jerk who cut me off in traffic, or my psycho ex, or anyone else, for that matter. I don’t want to relinquish control over my life to anyone, least of all someone who has wronged me.
We let go of an awful lot of bitterness and leave room for happiness when we choose to forgive even when the other person hasn’t asked for forgiveness. Regardless of how unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered they may be. Hanging on to it only harms us, not them.
People have a tendency to assume you want something in return when you do something nice for them. Their response is not what you’re going for. You will make your tiny corner of the world a better place without their approval. Just because they’re incapable of doing something kind without ulterior motives doesn’t mean that you are.
Fair weather friends are pretty exasperating, and people who are enemies only because you are more successful than they are can be very discouraging. This shouldn’t stop you from striving to succeed.
Be Honest and Sincere
Yep, people are like that. They will see that you are honest and sincere and try to take advantage of you. But that’s not a reason to be more cutthroat.
Anyone who has ever built a sand castle is familiar with the idea of creating something that is going to be destroyed. In the grand scheme of things, everything we create will come to dust eventually. Nothing in this world is truly permanent. But that’s not a reason to not be creative. Go paint, write, make music, whatever you like to do. Even if you’re the only one who ever enjoys it, it’s worth it. But chances are, there is someone in your circle of influence who would properly appreciate it. Share it with that person.
I’m not sure why people are jealous of other people’s happiness. I mean, it’s not like their happiness means there’s less available for you to have. I can see how bragging could be annoying, but that’s not really what we’re talking about here. Just chalk it up to those rare instances where people just don’t get it, and go right ahead and be happy.
Doing good is kind of a nebulous thing, sometimes. It can be something so simple as holding the door for the person behind you, to donating your vast wealth and all of your free time to a charity you feel passionate about, and everything in between. A lot of times, it goes hand in hand with the “Be Kind” quote. You may not ever receive notoriety for the good you do, and even if you do, society is fickle and WILL forget. But that’s not why you’re doing it. Get out there and do good anyway.
Give Your Best
It’s true that for some people, your best is never enough. The thing you have to keep reminding yourself is that it’s YOUR best, not theirs. And like the Four Agreements, remember that your best changes from day to day. Strive for that balance between working to the best of your ability, and working so hard that you can’t do anything the next day.
IT WAS NEVER BETWEEN YOU AND THEM ANYWAY
Whether you believe in God or not, this statement is true. Like I said at the beginning, any attempt to blame your actions on others is relinquishing control over your life to them. Yes, sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes you can feel the negativity of others bringing you down. But don’t let it continue. Keep doing the right thing, regardless of what those other people are doing, and you will have blessed those around you, even if they haven’t been very appreciative. In turn you’ll find that it’s been a blessing to you.