We can see an issue from any number of angles. But nuance does not change reality. Our adage for today is an old gem – Facts are stubborn things. You may have found this out the hard way. Most wisdom is earned through such stern lessons. But we can plan ahead. Rather than find ourselves trapped by stubborn fact, we can orient ourselves to take advantage of any situation. Let’s look at how.
Acknowledging truth is a core tenet of stoic philosophy. Moreover, you must accept the facts you cannot alter. Instead, focus your attention on what you do control. In addition, we should not worry when a situation goes against us. Our attention is on things less stubborn than facts.
When I started college, I was alone. Unlike my friends, I went away to school. In fact, no one from my high school went to my college. Not for several years. As a result, I had to learn to make friends fast. That did not always come easy. At the same time, that did not stop the feelings of loneliness. So I pressed. People saw my eagerness as off-putting. And I failed to build a connection.
See, I did not accept that facts are stubborn things. I thought that my charm would overcome a basic truth. For the most part, people are either opposed to you or indifferent to you. Consequently, you can only really relate to the third or so of people who will like you. Of course, the indifferent ones may come around. But trying harder is not the best way to do that.
Certainly, I could have continued to press. But I wanted success. In particular, I wanted to build real rapport. What I chose to do wouldn’t make sense if I still failed to accept that facts are stubborn things.
Instead of trying harder to make friends, I focused on what I enjoyed doing. After a while I found myself in the company of people with shared interests. Relating to them was easy. After all, we liked doing the same thing. So now, conversations flowed.
When you understand that facts are stubborn things, you choose the more effective path. What reality have you struggled to accept? Does it seem like no matter what you do, you can’t get what you want? Try switching strategies.
Remember from earlier this year, The Girl talked talked about When Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes? Until our perception changes, we won’t change our strategy. And in the end we will fail. Why? Because facts are stubborn things. More stubborn then we are. And we must accept the facts we cannot change. Only when we do that will we master the facts we can change.