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May 5, 2010

Tip of the Day: Power Play

Image: Flickr/Barry Lenard

Image: Flickr/Barry Lenard

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

Marcus Aurelius Antonius (121 AD – 180 AD)

Often it’s the meanings that we attach to events or conversations that cause us the most pain. Think about it: Someone else’s child gets engrossed in conversation and forgets to pick up their plate after dinner. You playfully remind them to do so. What happens when your child does the same thing? Suddenly it MEANS something. They don’t respect you. They are lazy. You haven’t done a proper job in getting them to take responsibility around the house.

If you can extract yourself from this kind of thinking, you can free yourself up to look for the good in your child rather than squint for the bad. You actually give yourself the choice as to whether or not to take something personally. That’s why taking just a moment – in the heat of the moment – gives you tremendous power.

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