Reacting to Lemons

Every year I like to buy a nice big calendar poster to keep track of my focuses and daily habits.

Last year I had just got my freshly crisp, 2020 calendar in the mail. I gently took it out of its tube and rolled it out on my bed. Brand new. Clean. Not a mark out of place. And then all of a sudden my dog comes rushing at me, excited to see me, and, of course, jumps on the bed and rips a paw print through my new calendar.

I could have been angry. I had barely looked at the thing, let alone used it! Or more likely, I could have been frustrated and let it ruin my whole day.

But I didn’t.

I had recently been reading a lot of Ryan Holiday’s work and Stoic philosophers, such as Seneca and Marcus Aurelius.

In that perfect moment to practice being a better person, a quote from Epictetus came to mind—

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

So instead, I rolled the calendar up, played with my pup, and later playfully labeled the holes as paw prints, hung it up, and went on with my day.

This is such a small moment, but it highlights our reactions can influence, and make-or-break the circumstances we find ourselves in.

I don’t also react well to what life throws at me, but each time I do I mark it as one more step to being the person I want to be.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1147

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