Stand By

Stand by yourself and look in. Can you see how the things irritating you are not the bottom line? The bottom line is that your happiness is dependent on how you respond, not what you’re responding to.

Between the sensation and how you react is a space. Sometimes it’s a tiny space, like if you touch something hot. But usually it’s a space that you can grow and change. If you experience something negative, you can redefine how you respond.

If you’re always trying to avoid pain you’ll be trapped in a restrictive mess. There’s always pain to avoid, but that’s not a tactic that will let you grow. Instead, envision and seek pleasure. By seeking what you want you redefine failure. It becomes something to learn from instead of something to suffer.

When you fight against something you don’t like, you become tangled in the lie that you have to fight at all. In the science of programming computers there’s a term called “refactoring”. Refactoring is stepping back and seeing how the program can be written in a better way.

Rather than being mired in the details of life and trying to optimize the little things, sometimes it’s best to step back and work on the grander view. See how you can do things better with what you’ve learned from the past.

Refactoring is like standing by and looking in. You realize that some things you thought weren’t right. You’ve learned a lot, and you’re made up of many habits. Sometimes it’s good to put a space between the stimulus and your response.