You can’t change how people treat you or what they say about you. All you can do is change how you react to it.

You can’t change how people treat you or what they say about you. All you can do is change how you react to it.


It can be incredibly debilitating having to weather the aftermath of someone treating you unfairly. 

Depending upon the infraction, you are either going to shake it off and let it go, or it has the potential to sink deep inside and live within you, perhaps for life.

The bigger question is whether or not that is a given.

Does something damaging have to stick at all?

It took a long time in life for me to come to grips with this thought process. As I heard trite phrases like, “let it stick to you like water on a duck’s behind,” I compartmentalized the statement, but I do not believe I really absorbed the lesson. Was this because the lesson was wrapped in a trite phrase, or was it because “when the student is ready, the master appears,” and perhaps I just was not ready to absorb the wisdom in the thought process?

Eventually time delivered the maturity for me to be ready to take that lesson and make it a part of my life. This may have come from countless episodes of allowing things to get under my skin and stewing over them for long periods of time. Whatever the turning point, once I was ready to actually embrace this most essential of lessons, it proved to be one of the most important tools I could absorb.

Can you stop others from being what they are? No. You can lead by example. You can impart wisdom into the universe through your own pathways of communication. But you really cannot stop others, even under the fear of living in a dangerous territory, governed by a violent regime. People can and will always be what they are, and that is an immutable fact. Given that they are not going to readily change, the only remaining solution is to change our reaction to whatever they are determined to say or do.

If this were easy to do, it would just be a simple instruction like, “spear the food with your fork and put it in your mouth.” Sadly, this is a very high level lesson, not readily absorbed in a single or multiple sessions. It is a lesson that has to be known upfront, and held at ready, so that when a surprise moment arises, you have an internal flash card that reminds you to just let it go. Instantly let it disburse as quickly as it arrived.

The secret is learning how to do this. It starts with having a very positive sense of self. Regardless of where you are in life, you can create a positive sense of self just by wanting to feel like that. This is the mindset from which determination, tenacity, fortitude and commitment are born. When that sense of self is comfortable, the next move is to recognize that you are never going to be everything to everyone. Even if you wanted to be, you are never going to be. So there are those that you will not please. And the harder you try to please them, the more frustrated you will become along the way. Further, some are suffering so many of their own issues, that they will transfer those upon you and hurt you as a way of achieving their own personal equilibrium. 

If you can see all of this to be true, then when that onslaught arrives, your core mission is to diffuse it upon arrival. You can start with a simple thought akin to, “that’s what you think, but that does not make it true in my reality.” With that simple premise, things really can run right off of you like water off a duck’s bottom.  The choice is truly all yours. And, as a voice of reason from down the road, life is so much more pleasurable when you just stop caring what others think or say. Live for yourself, be true to yourself. Set high goals to achieve and never waste a minute on what others think.

Happy Saturday!   

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!