Why So Serious? | 123Read&Write

An educational blog entry about learning to lighten up. Practice patience and humility to stop taking things so seriously.


Obviously, there are ample opportunities for life to tick us off. For me, I know life has gotten the best of me when my neck begins to turn red and my body begins to feel warm. This is a bad sign, because this means I've hit my boiling point of dealing with whatever ridiculousness life has decided to throw my way. As a teacher, this can be challenging. See, we have one of the few jobs where we are always "on the stage." Most jobs, if you've hit your limit, there are places to go to get away from the day's activities for a while. However, as teachers, we have to be able to keep our game face on, because our students need us regardless of our personal conflicts. 


In most instances, whatever life has thrown at me is not as monumental as it seems. However, in our daily grind of living life like it's one big emergency, your thoughts can spiral downward rapidly. Look at how simple things can add up to cause your mood to shift:

  • We're out of milk and it's almost dinner. You've already had a hectic day at work. The last thing (your mind tells you) that you feel like doing is going to the store for milk. 

Why so serious? How about forget the milk and drink water for dinner. It's healthier anyway.

  • I'm five minutes late for a meeting!

Why so serious? So what! Most meetings are information that can be read anyway. The meeting will go on just fine for those few minutes without you.

  • I'm in another traffic jam! I'll never make it to work on time.

Why so serious? Brutal honesty alert . . . there's always traffic; get up earlier and plan ahead for gridlock. 

  • That jerk cut me off in traffic!

Why so serious? Again, so what! You're safe and they'll be the one smashing into a wall later, not you.

Bottom line, why the heck are we always so serious? The essence of this dilemma is human nature's stubbornness to accept this simple fact: life doesn't adjust itself to fit our plans. Our parents (and the Rolling Stones) were correct when they said "you can't always get what you want." The problem is by taing things too seriously, we perceive it as a personal attack if things don't go our way. Usually, our frustration is a manner of our own creation. The more you live life with knee jerk reactions, to every situation that doesn't go your way, the more miserable your life will become.

While much easier said than done, we need to learn to let things go and quit taking things so seriously. Think of it this way. Do you ever feel good or at peace when you're uptight? That's rhetorical . . . of course you don't. So, give this a try. Begin your day with no expectations. Don't expect life to give you anything. Know and understand there are going to be bumps and hurdles in your day; and quite honestly, unless something significant happens to you or a loved one, it's just not that important. 

  • Are you safe and healthy? Check
  • Are your loved ones safe and healthy? Check
  • You have food, clothing, and shelter for you and your family? Check

If you answered with three checks, then lighten up . . . don't be so serious!