Yes, Thank You! The Art of Acquiescence

Instead of going thru the day kicking and screaming at every challenge or obstacle you face, shift your reaction and mindset to a controlled space. When you face a difficult situation, don’t sink into a miserable or angry state. Take a step back and say “yes, thank you.” Whatever you confront in your day, good or bad, look at it and say, “yes, thank you.”

We so often get offended by events that happen daily. You boss gives you hell for something you didn’t do. Traffic was worse than ever that morning or someone cut you off. You locked your keys in your car. All these events and similar episodes often have you react in a negative or counterproductive way.

Let’s take that promotion you want and never seem to get. When you’re turned down just say “yes, thank you.” Then look back on your work habits. The effort given to your daily tasks. Your planning and accomplishments. Or, maybe management already has a preconceived judgment on you, and you don’t fit their management structure. You aren’t getting the job or promotion indicates what you need to work on certain aspects. It points out different qualities of yourself you need to change and build upon. The rejection can also indicate that this job isn’t for you and you don’t like it. It’s an opportunity to move on and achieve what you really what.

Was traffic heavier than the day before? Or did you leave later than usual? Did you have an important scheduled meeting you couldn’t be late to? Was there bad weather creating slower traffic? Instead of getting mad and blaming the traffic, the weather, your boss for calling an early meeting, look at these unfolding events as an opportunity to examine your morning routine. Just say, “Yes, thank you.”

Do you set your morning alarm to the last possible minute? Do you hit snooze constantly instead of getting up immediately? Do you reach for your phone and browse social media? Use these circumstances to change your routine and create time to adjust to unforeseen events. The weather didn’t appear out of thin air. The night before the news or your weather app was informing you to the possible upcoming bad weather. Just say, “Yes, thank you. I could have planned to get up earlier and leave for work sooner. Thus, creating a less stressful commute and arrive at my meeting on time. This will also create a more relaxed morning mindset and not constantly running to get out of the house on time. This is something I have been yearning for a long time.”

When the grade on your exam is much worse than you expected, don’t waste your time being upset with your teacher. You’re not going to complain about how the study guide didn’t match what was on the exam, and you’re not going to beat yourself up. Instead, you can say, “Yes, thank you. I know now that there is something up with my study habits that needs to be addressed. Imagine if I hadn’t figured this out sooner! It’s great that I can finally fix whatever’s wrong so that I can do better in my subsequent classes.”

We could all go through our day in anger and be depressed in front of all obstacles and setbacks. Why not instead put on rose-coloured glasses and see everything as an opportunity to learn.

The quote “The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts” by Marcus Aurelius, paints a vivid image that you decide how you see your life and events that unfold. If you only see the negative or dark side, that is what your days will be composed of. On the other side, when you look at all obstacles or failures as a stepping-stone to learn and grow, your days will be exciting and fulfilling. Your focus will only be placed on positive outcomes and every negative event will suddenly appear as opportunity. This isn’t turning a blind eye to all the bad things in our lives, but to notice them and create a change in mindset. A diamond is created from pressure. Release that precious stone inside you. Take the learning opportunities presented to you and each day create the life you want.

The Fates guide the person who accepts them and hinder the person who resists them… CLEANTHES

The Art of Acquiescence is a core value in Stoicism. Learning to accept what is outside our control is key. How we see and react is in our control. This isn’t an easy mindset to have. But it’s the only path to greatness. Those rose-coloured glasses you had when you were a child, take them out and put them back on. Choose how you want your life to be. Starting today say “Yes, thank you” to everything. Notice the changes around you. Everything happens for a reason and that reason is you!