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Life can be a delightful adventure or a mini series of small annoyances that escalate beyond our wildest imagination.  Lack of rest, over-crammed schedules and deadline pressures can undoubtedly contribute to losing our peace, but here are four simple steps to avoid being annoyed.

Grant No Permission – What others may choose to do or say to you or about you, can never get under your skin unless you give those irritants permission.  We are responsible for how we think.  Giving another person the power over us to create tumultuous emotions is unwise.

Decide on Peace – Bad news can try to descend upon us but it is truly our decision on how we wish to respond.  When we meet people who have gone through remarkable challenges and losses in life we tend to see a common denominator in their processing of such events.  They either wallow in the pain or move past it quickly, but it’s their decision that instigated the positive (or negative) sequence of events that followed.

Respond Positively – We are given options every day, but it’s the response that we choose that will determine our results, not the option given.  For example if two people lose a job, both might be equally devastated, but how they choose to move through that process might be very different.  One could call all of his friends to share how he had been kicked to the curb and how his ex-employer ruined his life etc.  The other could call all of his friends to see how they are doing and if perhaps they know of any employment opportunities.  The second man’s activity will get good things rolling on his behalf.  The first man is drawing a bigger cloud of darkness over his life and becoming Negative Neal in the process.  His friends will soon stop taking his calls.  Positive Paul will have people looking for opportunities for him because of the energy he is putting out there.

Be Pro-Active – on this final step of four, it’s good to realize that all of the steps actually begin in our own thought life.  No one is making us do anything and yet every step can inch us toward a wonderful result or set us in an unfavorable pattern for the rest of our days.  When we encounter a setback in life we may think we only have one way to go after that and yet, that thought would be detrimental to our life.  We may have four options, three of which we never heard of nor imagined, but why not take steps to see what wondrous opportunities are looking for us?

If we truly want to embrace the new offerings of life, we should consider getting out of our bubble that we thought was so safe and choose to meet new people.  Attending events we’ve never been to, can be very enlightening as we see how other communities function and flourish.  Instead of being annoyed, let’s choose to be aware – it’s a lot more fun if you dare!