I want to master the skill of making my own choice.
Or at least acknowledging my own choice. I think it will lead to less stress and greater happiness in the long run, because to an extent those things are a matter of choice. I tweeted over the weekend:
In better context, my claim was that initial reactions can be dealt with through choices, with enough discipline and determination, and eventually a habit will form that changes emotional responses. Physiological responses tied together with emotions are hard to prevent, but easier to control afterwards – but how much easier depends on how well-trained you are to reason your way out of upset.
If you’re not getting what you want, change what you want. If something incessantly bothers you, change what you’re bothered by. This isn’t repressing things. It’s a systematic, deliberate process of self-discipline and taking responsibility for anything that provides you with any modicum of choice. Religions are based on this. It’s part of the Serenity Prayer. Even if you’re not a Buddhist or an alcoholic, you can take those lessons and apply them to your life.
So flick me in the temples if I complain about something that is easy to drop. And smack me if I blame other people for problems largely internal to me. Unless that person is Dirk. Blaming him isn’t a symptom of my emotional irresponsibility – it’s a hobby.