You know the old saying “Mind your own business”? More and more I believe this is the key to a happy life. Heck, it probably should be the slogan for all of humanity!
While I don’t talk a whole lot and try to mind my own business, I can’t tell you how many times a day I say “Just keep your mouth shut”…to myself!
It wasn’t always this way.
I used to open my big mouth pretty much any time I saw or heard something I didn’t agree with, thought was dumb, or felt others needed to hear my way (the right one of course!) of seeing things.
I’m not gonna lie, I sometimes do still open my trap to make sure the people around me know what’s what. After all, I DO have all the answers! But more and more I remember to just keep it closed and move on.
Why is this important?
Because when I open my mouth to explain a better way, or to wonder why someone is wasting their time doing something that’s “not their job,” or when I want to tell someone how to do something so much more efficiently–all I’m doing is creating conflict.
When I keep my mouth shut and just let it go, the one who is–or rather seems to be–making me crazy is allowed to get on with their life and their business, and so am I.
It comes back to minding my own business.
- It’s not my business if a colleague takes an hour to do something that I know could be done in 5 minutes.
- It’s not my business if a family member believes in something that sounds outrageous to me.
- It’s not my business if someone in my life doesn’t care about their health.
- It’s not my business if my boss is in a bad mood.
- It’s not my business to make people feel better.
- It’s not even my business if someone in my life is mad at ME.
And on and on it goes.
The only thing that is my business is taking care of myself.
Of my own body, mind and spirit.
Lest you think this sounds selfish–it’s not.
In fact, it’s the exact opposite of selfishness.
We cannot be helpful or of service to anyone unless our own house is in order. This doesn’t mean we should ignore everyone around us and not be supportive. It simply means that if we think we’re going to change others or worse–fix them, it’s only going to cause pain and suffering to them and us. Period.
I’ve learned that the best way for me to help others is to simply be.
Be a good example of calm accepting presence as much as I can.
Be there if and when they ask for help.
Be there to simply listen to them.
Be there to simply love them.
Let’s face it, we all have our ways of being and doing in life. Just because we believe our arbitrary made-up rules and conditions are the be all end all–they’re not. They’re just one person’s way. And even though it feels like it’s gonna kill us to watch others doing and being things we would never do or be, it doesn’t make them wrong.
And more than that, it’s none of our business!
Here’s my challenge for you (and myself!):
Start to pay attention throughout your day and notice when you feel the urge to tell someone how to do something or you feel the need to state your slightly (or greatly) differing opinion. Do you really, really, really need to say it? Or can you just walk away? You may have to bite your tongue a bit at first (I’ve got the blisters to prove it!) but it does get easier over time.
The important part is in the noticing.
Even if you slip up and still “mix in,” the more you notice how much you do it, the more you’ll start to realize it’s not your business.
Good luck and let me know how it goes! I’m batting about 3 out of 4 when I can keep my mouth shut (probably worse when it comes to social media!). But I know I can do better.
How about you? –Jill