What Matters Is How We Respond to What’s Happening

I just came across this piece from Tara Brach published in Psychology Today telling how we respond to what’s happening matters more than what’s happening itself.

Monkeys on the golf course

What makes the article interesting is the fact that she uses a story about English golfers from decades ago setting up a golf course in Calcutta, India, an area which is home to countless monkeys. No matter how they hard they tried to keep the monkeys from setting foot on their golf course and messing with their golf balls, the monkeys always found a way to break in and screw everything up.

In the end, the said golfers threw up their hands, realized they could never keep the monkeys out, and instead instituted a novel rule just for this particular golf course. That rule says anyone who plays golf there had to play the ball wherever the monkey dropped it.

Responding to frustrating situations

We can’t always get what we want in life, but the golfers in Brach’s story sure taught us a thing or two about how to respond to incredibly frustrating situations. While many among us respond to stressful situations by lashing out or drowning all our frustrations in alcohol, the golfers responded admirably with something positive that would allow both man and monkey to do their individual things and still enjoy them.

This is something that we must teach our kids. Life doesn’t always give us what we want, but how we respond to situations life throws our way is the one thing that really matters if we are to live a life full of happiness, freedom and peace of mind.

Click here to read the article in full.

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