Tiny Wisdom: On Everyday Teachers

“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” -Pema Chodron

Many people go through their days collecting moments that annoyed them. How another driver turns without signaling. How your coffee barista moves at a glacial pace—so slow she has to ask twice what you ordered. The way a coworker talks loudly on her cell phone, even though you practically share the same cubicle.

Things like this happen all the time. We live, work, and play on top of each other—people we know, don’t know, want to know, and don’t know we want to know. We’re bound to get in each others way.

What we don’t often realize is that all those different people can enrich our way if we let them.

That careless driver reminds you to stay alert. Your greatest power in an unpredictable world is your ability to respond well to things that happen around you.

The barista teaches you to take a deep breath and slow down. Nothing is so important that a late arrival justifies an ulcer.

Your coworker provides an opportunity to practice effective communication under stress—an invaluable skill both in work and in life.

Today if you encounter someone who presents a challenge to your plan for the day, ask yourself: What can I learn from this experience that will help me in the future?

Photo by The Fayj

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She started the site after struggling with depression, bulimia, c-PTSD, and toxic shame so she could recycle her former pain into something useful and inspire others do the same. She recently created the Breaking Barriers to Self-Care eCourse to help people overcome internal blocks to meeting their needs—so they can feel their best, be their best, and live their best possible life. If you’re ready to start thriving instead of merely surviving, you can learn more and get instant access here.

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