It's nothing personal. It's just life

The parable of the empty boat, a Young peasant sweat when sailed on a boat up the river. He went against the tide to deliver their goods to the village. It was a hot day and he wanted to finish the delivery and get home before sunset.

When he looked forward, I noticed another pot, moving swiftly down the stream straight at him. He began to paddle harder to avoid a collision, but it did not help.


He shouted: "Turn! You crash into me!" — but to no avail. The vessel collided with his boat with a frightening Bang. He screamed, "you Idiot! How did you manage to hit my boat in the middle of this wide river?"

But when he looked at the boat to see the eyes of the perpetrator of the collision, I saw that there is no one. He was yelling at an empty boat that had broken free from the moorings and freely drifting"

When we are confident that the pilot someone is, then behave accordingly. We can blame this stupid, heartless man in our failures. We are angry, we arrange the scene, heaved on someone responsibility and present themselves as a victim.

We are a lot calmer when we understand that the boat is empty. Within reach no scapegoat, and to be angry at.

We accepted that our failure — error of fate. We can even laugh at the absurdity of the situation, when a rudderless boat managed to crash into us in the middle of a wide river.

The moral: in a boat no one and does not happen. We are always screaming at an empty vessel. Empty boat not pursuing. Like all the people that add bitterness to our day.

  • A colleague who always interrupts you in meetings. He thinks he's smarter than everyone else, not just you. Empty the boat.
  • Aggressive driver that hangs on the tail a few kilometers on the way to work. He does this every day on any road. It is his driving style. The empty car.
  • The Bank officer who rejected the request for small business loan for due to errors on the form. He sees the uniform, not you. The empty suit.
  • The cashier at the supermarket, forgetting to put in the package a little expensive jar of anchovies that you need for the party. Now you have to go back to the store to pick up something for which you paid. All day she scanned and bagged groceries. A small can is easy to miss. She did it on purpose and certainly not to spite you. Another empty vessel.
I love to explain this concept to training leaders with the help of simple exercises. I ask students to think about a specific person, which annoys, Angers or drives you crazy.

-"Can you imagine this person?" — I ask.

A nod, a face of disgust, then Yes.

-"How much time this person can't sleep because of you?" — I ask.

"Not at all".

-"In this case who is punished? And who punishes?" — I ask.

The answer is always "I" and "Me".


I finish the exercise, simple reminder that to be mad at people for what they are, as much sense as being angry at a chair for being a chair. He can't do anything about it, like most of our friends. When a person makes you angry, you don't have to love him, agree with him or respect him. Just accept it for what it is.

The don Corleone character in "the Godfather", said "it's Nothing personal. It's just business". He knew that people can disappoint us or disagree with us, respecting their interests, but not because they want to hurt us. This applies to all people who are us nervous or brought to a white heat. They do it because they are, not for what we are. published


P. S. And remember, just changing your mind — together we change the world! ©

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