Only Three Types of Business
When we’re not clear on what we do and don’t have control over and therefore what we are and aren’t responsible for, we get ourselves involved in all sorts of business that isn’t ours. We try (ultimately in vain) to control things that we don’t have control over and we end up frustrating, aggravating, angering and even depressing ourselves and annoying others to boot. And meanwhile, all that attention and effort spent sticking our noses where they don’t belong could have been spent really making a positive difference where it does belong. We neglect that which we can control while trying to control that which we can’t. Not smart! But until we have clarity on it, that’s what we do because that is the nature of the personality- trying to control what it can’t and neglecting what it can control. So with some increased clarity, let’s start to change that.
One of my favorite modern day spiritual teachers is Byron Katie. One of the really valuable things I learned from her is the principle of the three types of business. There are really only three types of business in the world:
1) My Business
2) Your Business
3) God’s Business
Everything we can’t control falls in either “Your Business” or “God’s Business”. The only thing that falls under “My Business” is the one thing I can control- and that is how I direct my attention. Once we’re clear on this, it can save us so much wasted effort and grief. We just take our nose out of everybody else’s business but “My Business.”
Because we have developed long standing habits of sticking our nose where it doesn’t belong and not keeping it where it does belong, this will take some effort and strength of will, and some time and patience with ourselves to develop new habits. But the clarity is lasting and with time, you’ll become more and more aware of whose business you’re in, and you’ll find satisfaction only when keeping your nose in your own business.
Only One Question To Ask
I’ve found the following question to be particularly clarifying when it comes to choosing the best way to direct my attention in any given situation I face. It is this:What's the next right action I can see to take that's in My Business? Click To Tweet
Each word of this question is carefully chosen.
“Next Right Action” — I don’t need to try to solve the whole situation before I take the next action. I don’t have to know how things are going to turn out (and really I can’t know that anyway). I just need to find the next small action I can take that is a “right action” meaning something that feels in integrity with the nature of my Soul. I may see to take an action like yelling at someone or blaming someone or plotting revenge or sulking, but while these are actions that I control, they are not right actions.
“I Can See To Take”— I can only choose to take an action from the list of possibilities I can see right now. That list of possible actions is a direct result of my current level of consciousness. If I can’t see any good right action to take right now, it’s probably because I’m operating at a fairly low level of consciousness at the moment and maybe the best thing to do is to set aside the issue I’m struggling with and work on raising my level of consciousness through things like rest, meditation, exercise, focusing on gratitude, etc. Then when I am seeing a little more clearly from a higher level of consciousness, I will be able to see more “right actions.”
“In My Business”— It always comes back to this- the right action has to be something that is in My Business- something I can say or do that is not dependent upon anyone else or anything else changing or doing anything. I pull my attention away from anything that is not in My Business and suddenly there is a lot more of it at my disposal to use in a more effective way. I recapture all the wasted energy and attention that was in God’s business or someone else’s business and bring it to bear on what is in My Business.
Then once I’ve taken that next right action, I just ask the same question and look for the NEXT right action I can see to take in My Business… and then the next. That’s it. No more trying to control the future or change the past or control others or question God. Just one right “My Business” action after the next. Kind of like putting one foot in front of the other.
Questions to Ponder
How much of my time to I spend worrying about things that are not really My Business?
What if I could recapture that wasted time and energy and put it back where it belongs?