This is the question that Derren Brown encourages you to ask – in his new book, A Little Happier – when you’re next trapped in a story about events.
Why? Because regardless of how you answer, you’ll always be able to more than just one perspective.
And when that happens, you can only conclude that it isn’t the event itself which causes our reaction, but the particular narrative that we attach to it.
Of course, we know this. There’s evidence all around us, of one person being broken by the same circumstances that make another; of some becoming victims whilst others become worldbeaters. It’s just easy to forget this when you’re having the bad day/week/month/year.
But if you take a moment to consider the meaning that you’re attaching to events, to detach from the story a little, you might find that you’re somewhat more accepting and less reactive, especially when the shit hits the fan.
It goes without saying that this seems particularly useful in 2020.