“If someone asks you how to write your name, would you bark out each letter? And if they get angry, would you then return the anger? Wouldn’t you rather gently spell out each letter for them? So then, remember in life that your duties are the sum of individual acts. Pay attention to each of these as you do your duty…just methodically complete your task.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.
Emotional responses are characterised by all-or-nothing thinking in the here-and-now. We can find ourselves blowing things out of proportion, labelling things in absolute terms and losing our patience or the will to continue.
Much of this defeats our ultimate purpose. What is it you want to happen – in the long-term? What is the bigger picture? Is sweating the small stuff helping you to get closer to your intended outcome?
Take a step back and see the current situation in the frame of the bigger picture. Don’t waste energy and emotions on the little things at the expense of the bigger prize. Take each step, each individual act in the context of what you ultimately seek to achieve.