Don't Take It Personally

Don't Take It Personally

If you've ever driven through a snowstorm, sitting on the front seat of an automobile, you will remember how each flake seemed to dash straight at the car. Straight at the car they flew—or so they seemed. When you stopped and got out, you found they were falling straight down, as always.

The difference was in your viewpoint.

Some people prefer to think that trouble was made for them. They take normal misfortune and setbacks personally. In school they say, "The teacher doesn't like me," and then proceed to give the teacher plenty of reason for not liking them. They say, "I was never good in math," and then prove this statement by neglecting their math homework. They say, "I was never a good athlete," and make this statement true by not really trying on the field or in the gym.

Later, these same people say, "I never get the breaks," and then fail to see a break when it does come their way. Or, they feel that people don't like them, and do nothing to make people like them.

They take everything personally. They remember unkind remarks and hold them against people. If rebuffed, they think the world is against them. In their jobs they're always looking for reasons why the boss doesn't like them. And they usually succeed in their search.

This attitude, in its extreme, causes some people to become mentally ill. A few enter our state mental hospitals. Others merely make life miserable for all around them.

Do you take life personally? Or do you use the handicaps, setbacks, and rebuffs as ways of learning your own weaknesses? I know one brilliant youth who failed in several jobs. He was likable, good looking, and he made friends easily. His one fault was his inability to organize his life. He hated schedules. He disliked getting up early.

Fortunately, he was smart enough to see he was his own worst enemy. Against his own nature, he set about correcting his weakness. He made himself be prompt, punctual, and early. He set schedules for himself and kept them.

Today he's happy and generally recognized as a successful man. But, how easily he could have become bitter, cynical, and a complete failure. He could have said: "God made me slipshod, and there's nothing I can do about it. The odds are against me. I never get a break!"

The bumps, rebuffs, slaps on the cheek, injustices, bad breaks, unkindnesses, misunderstandings, lack of talent in certain areas, and even deliberate cruelty from others—all these are a part of every human being's life. They're a part of growing up.

If you take them personally, as if life were sore at you, then you're in for some miserable years. But if you laugh and accept them as an expected part of life and challenges to be overcome, then you'll have a good time, no matter what comes.

Don't take normal, or even abnormal, amounts of trouble personally. Follow this rule, and you'll become a grand person.

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