Talent is a universal gift, but it takes a lot of courage to use it. Don't be afraid to be the best.
~ Paulo Coelho, The Winner Stands Alone ~
Understand at last that you have something in you more powerful and divine than what causes the bodily passions and pulls you like a mere puppet. What thoughts now occupy my mind? Is it not fear, suspicion, desire, or something like that?
—Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 12.19
Daily Touch of Inspirations
February 12th: Protect your peace of mind
Ryan Holiday, The 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living
Think of some of the great difficulties that you have experienced over the years - ones that you invited into your life on some level or another. This applies to financial dilemmas, dysfunctional relationships, speeding tickets, lawsuits, time- wasting arguments, health problems, and family feuds. For good measure, you can add any other predicament that you could have bypassed in some way or form. Wouldn't it have been easier to avoid these situations than trying to get out of them later?
For example, you may have gotten yourself in a financial quagmire. Your bills are coming in faster than you can rip them up, you are so broke you can't afford to go window- shopping, and your major creditors are skulking the bushes looking for you. Obviously, this situation is not simply an out- of- money experience that will dissipate on its own. Because you did not react early, you must now get out of serious financial trouble before the situation becomes even more critical.
The key to staying out of trouble- financial or otherwise- is to control your behavior that attracts trouble. We often invite trouble into our lives when we see something as terribly important not realizing that in fact it is rather insignificant in the higher order of life. Just as telling, we invite trouble into our lives when we see something as trivial, when, in fact, it is important for our well-being and peace of mind.
Clearly, vigilance is the best defense against trouble entering our lives. The person who does not have the presence of mind to identify potentially dangerous outcomes finds it virtually impossible to avoid trouble in the short term and the long term. People who stay out of trouble concentrate on the important matters and ignore the superficial ones. Their response to potential trouble involves strategies on how to avoid the situation totally. They admit to having made mistakes in the past by not taking appropriate action and won't let it happen again.
Clearly, you must recognize and react to the warning signs of trouble if you want to avoid major disruptions to your life. The key word is react. Be proactive and take absolute control of your life. To avoid having to get out of trouble, you must develop strategies to stay out of trouble.
There may be times, for instance, when you are tempted to indulge in a physical confrontation to settle some matter. If you get involved, you are sure to regret it later. Just think of the consequences. You may end up being beaten up. This doesn't sound like something for which you should strive.
The second thing that may happen is you get lucky and beat up your rival. Unless you get some perverted pleasure from beating up people, it doesn't sound like something that will bring you satisfaction. Of course, the third thing that can happen is both you and the other combatant get hurt, in which case, both of you lose.
The way to stay out of trouble- instead of being faced with getting out of trouble- is to choose your life's battles carefully. Indeed, you shouldn't fight a battle if there is nothing to win. Most of the physical confrontations in which people get involved offer no positive benefit to anyone.
When it comes to avoiding physical fights with tough guys, you are welcome to use my strategy. I can proudly report that I won all three of my last fights involving tough guys- by at least half a mile! In others words, I took appropriate action to avoid the dangerous outcomes that usually occur in physical confrontations.
Again, the key to staying out of any sort of trouble is to control the behavior that gets you in trouble. Cool is what you want. Calm, in fact, works even better. In case you still didn't get it, the overall lesson here is that it's always easier to stay out of trouble than to get out of trouble.