Do you quickly jump the gun? This is a must read.
The greatest malady of modern life is that man permanently seems to be on a treadmill! He is on the move all the time, running, running, running – and still in the same place!
Rush, rush, rush! Jet-setting executives have become globetrotters – visiting the customers in Nigeria today; meeting with bankers in London tomorrow; trade conferences in Buenos Aires the day after; off to Chicago for a new collaboration afterwards…
Hurry, hurry, hurry! Mothers are virtually on roller skates, dropping children at school, going off to work themselves, attending meetings, calling on doctors and bankers and plumbers and electricians, attending to household chores and managing servants…
Under these circumstances, is it at all surprising that we are constantly prone to irritations and annoyances? One of my friends, who is a doctor, told me the other day that many of his patients come to him with sudden outbreaks of high blood pressure. Outwardly they are calm, quiet, dignified individuals. But inwardly the daily frustrations and irritations of life are taking their toll on these men!
They easily feel upset, irritated, annoyed, unhappy. The driver is delayed in reporting for work – and his master is driven into a frenzy. Frenzy is fine, if it is going to bring the driver to his door at once. But he knows it cannot – so who is the loser?
Jimmy Durante, the comedian, schooled himself never to be upset, never to feel irritated. Whenever he was faced with a trying situation, he would exclaim, “That’s the situation that prevails – so what can you do about it?”
Irritations are inevitable. We are going to encounter them wherever we are, whatever we do. If we are wise and mature, we will learn to handle them without paying a heavy price in terms of frayed nerves and acute emotions.
By giving in to irritation, we allow our energy levels to drain; our efficiency drastically lowers; and we also lay ourselves open to worse problems that are sure to follow. Have you seen the comic strip where an irate driver kicks the flat tyre of his car – and then howls in pain as his foot is sprained by the kick?
A mature and wise person learns to face life’s daily irritations without being upset. The trick is to snap out of irritations and recover our calm and serenity. Better still, we should learn to block out irritations altogether, by adopting a tolerant, easy-going attitude towards people and events.
Rahim was the assistant manager of a hotel. A lady had checked into one of the deluxe rooms. Each time she met Rahim, she would shoot off a list of complaints and demands; she would fuss over the messages left for her, and in general made life tough for him.
Rahim had been trained at an eminent institute and obtained a diploma in Hotel Management. But he had to grit his teeth and put up with the lady, who was beginning to get on his nerves. He spoke to his mother about her one night, when he went home.
“Be patient with her, son, and send out a prayer for her when she annoys you,” advised his mother, who was a wise woman. “God knows what’s bothering her!” Rahim decided to follow his mother’s advice. For the next few days, he listened patiently to the lady and attended to her complaints promptly.
A week later, she came down to settle her bill. “Please order a taxi to take me to the airport,” she requested. “I hope you found your stay pleasant and comfortable, Ma’am,” Rahim told her. “We do hope you will come back to stay with us whenever you are in this city.”
To his shock, the lady burst into tears. “Oh, I hope I’ll never, ever come back here,” she said with a sob. “My former husband, who deserted me years ago to run away with another woman, was in the hospital, dying of cancer. He asked to see me, and I had to come here so that I could bury the bitter past and help him die in peace. But it has been too much for me! He is dead now, and I must go back and allow my own wound to heal!”
Rahim was startled to realise that while he had been battling with the petty irritation caused by her behaviour, she had been passing through a terrible emotional ordeal.
Patience is the formula which can help you black out, shut out every kind of irritation! Learn to have an objective, detached and dispassionate attitude to problems. Try to understand why some people behave as they do and you will find that their behaviour no longer upsets you. Instead, you will find yourself sympathizing with them and trying to help them in any way you could!
Granted, it is a human tendency to want to hit back at whatever – or whoever – has annoyed you. But it can be an even more satisfying experience when you control your resentment and become the master, not only over yourself, but the situation. And remember, the man who can master a situation by self-control, always wins the battles of life!