minding our own business

Often times, we poke our noses into other people’s lives. Without getting an invitation or seeking permission first, we get involved in someone else’s business. We act from the premise that something is wrong and it’s our responsibility to ‘fix’ it. No, it isn’t. We need to let go of other people’s affairs and leave them alone. Many times, the help that we may be trying to offer may not be the actual help that they need. Everyone has their own personal and unique journey and we need to trust that everything is happening as it should be.

We may camouflage our interfering behaviors with good intentions, but we don’t realize that our intrusion may stop the other person from learning an invaluable life lesson. Instead of getting in the ‘advisor’ mode, all we have to do is be there for them. We can let the other person learn the lesson they are supposed to learn. When they want to share their problems with us, we should be listening to them and not let the advisor within us dominate and coach them when they don’t want to be coached. The only time when we can offer a piece of advice or our opinion is when the other person specifically asks for it. If we’re not sure, we can simply ask: “Do you want me to give you some advice or tips, or do you want me to just listen?”

Along with not interfering with other people’s lives and the decisions that they make, we also need to guard our own lives against unwanted intrusions and distractions. If we’re spending too much time on social media and letting the validation that we get from it dictate our happiness, we set a trap for ourselves. We bring up negativity inside us. The ‘comparison’ game conjures up a cocktail of low self-esteem, insecurity and anxiety within us that if not kept in check might take us towards severe depression. Instead of stalking others and the highlight reels of their lives, we need to unplug from the noise. We need to bring focus back to our lives and learn ways to develop ourselves. Instead of engulfing ourselves with obsession, incessant comparison and self-depreciation, we can work towards figuring out our strengths and maximizing them.

We need to stop worrying about other people’s opinions. In words of Regine Brett, “What other people think of you is none of your business”. There’s no point in distracting ourselves by looking at other people and what they’re thinking. If we let other people’s opinions enter our heads, our focus will get shaken and we will lose our calm. All of us have our unique paths that are different from others’. We need to simply focus on ourselves, our craft and our life. When we mind our own business, we choose a life of self-reliance and freedom. We let go of the behaviors of clinging, chasing, comparing, competing and controlling. We become more present in our lives and enjoy our life fully on our own terms without any unnecessary interference and interruptions.

Neither do we need to let other people’s remarks or opinions influence us nor should we get into the business of what other people are doing. In essence, we need to follow a simple philosophy: “Live and let live.” In that way, we’ll be able to attain inner peace and tranquility. As the Gyalwang Drukpa points out, “The first step for us to have peace is to look inward and to avoid looking outward. In a way, we can say that “minding our own business” is the first step to have peace.”