I’m a firm believer that tolerating things that bother us is a really bad idea. How many times have you said about something, “It’s tolerable.” Or, “I can stand it.” Most of the time, I think we’re “standing” things we don’t have to stand.
As a rule, I think tolerating something is a waste of time and effort, and generally causes our lives to be less enjoyable, satisfying and fulfilling than they need to be. I just don’t see why anything needs to be tolerated.
Sometimes you need to put your foot down.
If something is a problem, I believe it should be resolved. For instance, let’s say you’ve got a problem with your child’s school bus driver not arriving on time in the mornings. Some mornings the bus doesn’t arrive at all. You wait 20 minutes or more, because he never comes on time, and then you drive your child to school. Altogether, this takes an hour of your time.
The obvious solution to this would be that you would contact the school, and they would fix the problem. You would take your child to the bus stop on time and the bus would arrive on time. You would no longer be tolerating the situation.
But let’s assume the bus supervisor says there’s no problem, and refuses to solve the problem. You have two choices. You can tolerate wasting an hour some mornings because the bus won’t arrive on time.
Or you can decide to spend a little more time getting ready in the morning, leave when you are ready, and drive your child to school. While this may not have been your first choice, when it is your choice it becomes not tolerating but adapting.
Toleration comes with frustration and anger. Making a choice brings freedom and relief.
Tolerations can bleed us dry of energy and make it impossible for us to function effectively. We can’t live happy, successful, fulfilling lives if we’re spending all our energy trying to “tolerate” things that shouldn’t be tolerated.
I’m not saying we have to fix every little thing that’s going on in our lives. There are things that we have absolutely no control over. These things we must simply accept.
But if you keep receiving spam emails and don’t do anything about it – like finding a spam checker or reporting the spammers – eventually you end up spending too much time deleting the spam as it clogs your mailbox. Worse yet, you might inadvertently delete something that you needed. Tolerating things is like that. You end up spending so much energy you don’t even know you’re spending.
It’s the little things that really get us in the end. I’m convinced that we can handle any one or two big things in our lives, but the little things that constantly grate on us are going to erode our energy, our patience and our equilibrium, and eventually they’re going to be just too much.
So it’s time to find a way to fix your tolerations, or make a choice that means you’re no longer tolerating whatever-it-is, and you’re now making a determined decision.
How can you eliminate tolerations in your life today?