I’m quite sure there’s something you’ve been tolerating for a while.
I want to suggest an interesting experiment: the next time you feel close to telling someone off and telling them “I’m so sick of…” instead of expressing yourself with the deep-seated need of being heard and acknowledged, just do what you would’ve done in the first place and leave. Move on from that situation immediately instead of wasting more energy on this situation.
Chances are that if a person repeats a behavior, they might sometimes be rude, unaware of it; But most of the time they continue acting selfishly with no regard for you. In these moments, it is important to stand up for ourselves and create boundaries after we get better self-awareness.
Instead of trying to break down all the reasons about why the other person isn’t considerate, or is draining, just fucking end it. Let it die. And see what happens: will the person notice that the plant is dying and come back to water the relationship? And if they do, is it out of a purely transactional relationship, or some other attachment? Within this space you’ve created, observe everything. If the relationship is solid and great, this process will only deepen the bonds and strengthen the relationship (definitely apologize if you were wrong though). If it’s garbage, you’re already that much closer to the “exit”. Then, you won’t have to worry about things like tolerating people anymore; at least people who offer you no positives.
Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest athletes of our time, but his opponents extended far beyond the boxing ring. We too can be the champions of the battles we fight each day if we are adaptable and courageous.
Being a black Muslim in the 1970’s produced its own challenges in the forms of racism and Islamophobia. One of the characteristics that made Ali so remarkable was his ability to stand firm in his beliefs, regardless of who was opposing him. If you look up any video today, you’ll see ferocious confidence in his self-expression.
Being unique today requires tremendous courage to challenge the status quo. Heroes are scarce in our generation because most of us have been taught to limit our critical thinking for a paycheck; by fitting into society like a standardized cog in a machine. Ali found courage within himself and became an individual. You can also cultivate this courage for self-expression.
In nature, a butterfly is able to float because it is light, agile and curious. On the other hand, a bumble bee has similar capabilities but different mindset: workers that’ll defend the queen and hive with their sting. Humans however are not restricted to any particular pattern, because self awareness allow us to change our perspective when presented with new information.
When Muhammad Ali’s saying, “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” was also a comment on how humans can adapt their nature. We can be light on our feet and observe like a butterfly, but change and strike with purpose like a bee. We are not restricted to nature’s patterns, but to recognize and change them requires self-awareness and that courage deep inside you. Adapt, and you will overcome anything.
If your goal is to build a bridge, then following the advice of a demolitions expert and buying dynamite make no sense. But most of us do this in our lives every day: we take actions opposite of our goals and end up frustrated.
Demolition experts are the negative people in your life. They’ve relentlessly practiced how to locate and identify even the smallest faults and weaknesses to destroy the greatest structures. The reason negative people seldom live positive lives is because they focus on failures their entire life — so they rationalize any risks to avoid taking them. They can easily demolish the foundation of your courage with their years of practice.
On the other hand, an expert bridge builder focuses on strengths, and what materials go well together for a strong structure. His mission is to connect people, and this goal far outweighs any short-term fear of failure. His team and tools are also much different than a demolition expert: one carries dynamite and a wrecking ball machine, and the other employs construction workers and engineers.
Depending on what we are trying to accomplish, we need the right team. Whether you’re trying to build bridges or destroy them, you’ll be able to achieve your goal more efficiently with a team on the same mission as you.