If we want to be happier, it is helpful to notice what we are thinking about other people. We often worry about other people and want to help fix their problems. Or we try and change the way that other people behave. Or we have critical thoughts about someone else. None of this is helpful to us, and none of this is our business. Our business starts and ends with us. We are not responsible for any other adult. They get to do, think, and feel whatever they chose. Our job is to manage our own life, and our own thoughts and feelings.
There are three kinds of business in the universe, according to Byron Katie, they are My business, other people’s business and Gods business (God being whoever the higher power is for you).
God’s business is things like; making the flowers yellow, the earth to turn, and the sun warm us on a summer’s day.
My business is anything to do with me. How I feel, what I do, what I think, who I love, if I am happy or not. These things are all my business, and no one else is responsible for any of it. I am 100% responsible for my own happiness, and for managing my own life.
Other people’s business is anything to do, with anyone other than me. And other people’s business is not my business. Therefore, I don’t get to think, you should get a job, or the neighbour should paint his house, or she should be on time, or I want you to be happy. I also don’t get to feel bad because my friends or family have dysfunctional lives or relationships. None of it is my responsibility, or my business.
And the same applies to everyone else. We are each responsible for what we do, think and feel, and whatever anyone else does, thinks or feels is their responsibility, and their business.
Note that this does not mean we don’t love and support the people around us. It just means that unless they ask us for our advice or help, then it has nothing to do with us. We love them regardless of what they are doing, and we don’t have an agenda to change them. If they want to change anything about their own life, then that’s their business.
A lot of our stress and unhappiness is created by us living out of our own business. If we can recognise that this is what we are doing, and take steps to correct it, we will free up our energy to be more present in our own lives.
Written by Lynda Timperley BTCH, Dip psych, Cert Life Coaching.
Member of ANZCAL (Australia and New Zealand Coaching Alliance)