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There’s no formula to get people to do what you expect, but there is one for handling what they do

Humans have been communicating with each other for between 50,000 and 2 million years (who knows, really?). And still we haven’t worked out a perfect formula for people meeting all our expectations.

Because there isn’t one.

Although most people are driven by doing good and don’t mean to disappoint or hurt others, people are always going to follow their own motivations. It’s human nature to do what’s best for you.

There’s no formula to get people to do what you expect them to, but there is a formula for dealing with what they do do¹.

Deflecting the impact

If an axe strikes a knot in a piece of wood, it’s the axe that absorbs and suffers all the impact – The wood remains the same, unaffected. Same goes for the solitary rock on the edge of the shore. Pounding waves smash and crash into it but it remains steadfast, unwavering, solid and unmoved.

Or imagine your mind (and its tranquility) is the ship. And all the stuff that happens in your mind, and the people who affect it is the sea. You know that life’s going to throw storms and intense winds and barraging rain at you (some more intense than others). But, you can either panic, shout ‘We’re doomed! We’re doomed!’ from the bow, and maybe even abandon ship, or you can choose to remain calm, tranquil and measured, as you navigate your way through the tempest.


¹ I said ‘do do’.