Whose Business Is It?
Most of us have heard of the Serenity Prayer. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; And the wisdom to know the difference.” Being able to discern between what we can change and those things we can’t is the key to our peace of mind.
Byron Katie says that there are only three kinds of business in the world: my business, your business, and God’s business (things out of your/my control). She observes that stress comes often because we mentally insert ourselves into, ruminate on, and worry about things that are somebody else’s business.
When I think, “You need to get a job,” “You need to be happy,” “You should be on time,” or “You need to fix this,” “You need to break off this relationship,” or “You should take better care of yourself,” I am in your business. Any time I think that I know what’s best for anyone else is to be out of my business. Even in the name of love, it is pure arrogance, and the result is tension, anxiety, and fear. Do I even know what’s right for myself? That is my only business. Let me work with that before I try to solve your problems for you. If someone invites me in to their “stuff” to help, that is different. But, even then, I must humbly realize that I won’t be the one living with the outcomes of the decisions.
Whose business is it when your daughter is getting failing grades in college? Hers
Whose business is it if you are paying her tuition? Yours
Whose business is it that your son smokes? His
Whose business is it if he is buying cigarettes with the spending money you give him? Yours
Whose business is it that I’m grieving a loved who died? Mine
Whose business is it that my grief makes those around me uncomfortable? Theirs
Whose business is it where and when people die? God’s
Our stress often comes when we are trying to fix every other person or every situation and fail to ask if it is really my business to fix it or not.
Count, in five minute intervals, how many times you are in someone else’s business mentally. Notice when you give uninvited advice or offer your opinion about something (aloud or silently). When you are tempted to interject, ask yourself…
1. Am I in somebody else’s business?
2. Did this person ask for my input or advice?
3. Am I willing to take the advice I am offering and apply it to my life?
If you understand the three kinds of business enough to stay in your own business, it could free your life (and your mind) in ways you can’t even imagine. The next time you’re feeling stress or discomfort, ask yourself whose business you’re in. That question can bring you back to yourself, your life and your business.