How can this happen? Why am I so disturbed by what is said to me or what goes on around me? Why do I give away my peace of mind so easily?
One of the big reasons we so easily become disturbed is that we care about what other people think. You make a mistake and are called out on it, and you begin questioning yourself. How could I be so stupid? I’m always fucking up. Epictetus is telling us that it is so easy for us to allow our circumstances to rule our thinking. If you are letting some perceived failure disturb your piece of mind consider this quote:
“Remember that failure is an event not a person.” Zig Ziglar
Listen, I mess shit up all the time, in fact it’s almost comical. With the intense frequency of screwing things up that I experience by now I would have been insane.
Another good example is someone institutes a new process that you think is extremely ill conceived. Most likely this process is out of your control, but instead of just forgetting about it, you spend countless hours being resentful, or feeling that you know better. Now because you are so much smarter than whoever came up with this process, you make yourself miserable. You begin to disengage at work, because they are just so stupid; what a bunch of morons.
Stop it! I mean you need to stop it right now. Your expectations of everyone acting or doing things that you want is completely messing you up. Stop reacting and start protecting your mind from all these outside influences. Seriously this shit that you let bug you will not even be on your radar a year from now, but you let it bug the hell out of you anyway. It’s not the problem that is disturbing you, it’s your reaction to the problem.