The Secret Handbook 4 Teens

Secret #6 to Living a Happy Life (If U Read Nothing Else, This is the One to Understand)


Ok, it wasn’t my plan to reveal this secret now because I’m a methodical person who likes to work through things in a certain way and, in my mind, this secret actually comes a bit later but I just can’t hold this one back. I think this might just be one of the biggest secrets to living a happy life that you really really need to understand and start applying to your lives now – especially as a teen. Honestly, it’s a game changer & will totally change the way you interact with people.

Secret #6: Never Take Anything Personally Because It’s Never About You

I wish I could claim that I figured out this secret all on my own but I really didn’t. It comes from the book entitled the Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz (which I highly recommend but honestly, I can only ever remember this agreement & not the other three so take that for what it’s worth). Let me break it down for you. As with most things, it pretty much starts with your ego.

The ego (or that little voice in your head) hears everything and immediately takes it personally. If you take everything personally, you give away your power and start to lose your True Self b/c you are giving your ego the power. You’re also going to be really unhappy a lot of the time because you are constantly going to react to other peoples’ cr@p when it really has nothing to do with you.

Here are some examples.

Example #1:

If you say to your friend,”Hey, do you like this new shirt I got for my birthday?” (because you’re just so excited about it) and your friend says “Yeah, it’s ok.” you’re going to feel hurt. Well, actually your ego is going to feel hurt because you will immediately doubt whether you like the shirt, whether you should feel so excited about it and you may, most likely, will never wear it again or if you do, it will just be any other shirt and not the special one you got for your birthday.

This is how the ego loves to work. But here’s the thing, you can’t take anything anyone else says personally because it has absolutely nothing to do with you. When you friend shrugs and says “It’s ok.” they are reacting based on stuff they have going on in their own lives. For example, they may have really wanted that shirt and didn’t get it and maybe they didn’t get it because their mom just lost her job and so money is really tight and so now they a) feel really bad that they don’t have that shirt and b) feel really sad that their mother lost her job. See, you didn’t even know any of that was going on did you? You just got hurt and mad because your friend didn’t say she loved your shirt just as much as you do. You took it personally & it has nothing to do with you.

So let’s say you decide to listen to your friend because you really like this friend and figure she must know what she’s talking about so you put the shirt away and never speak of it again. You are, however, now open to more of the poison she is spewing because you choose to listen and believe it.

Example #2:

Let’s say the next day in school you’re not wearing that new shirt but you are wearing a new pair of sneakers. You don’t say a word but your friend notices anyway and she looks down and says “I already have those sneakers in blue.” Yup, that’s right, she just one upped you. And if your ego decides to give her words power you might end up feeling really bad about those sneakers but again, it doesn’t have anything to do with you. She is one upping you because she is unhappy. You, however, can decide whether you’re going to take it personally. You can decide if you’re going to let her problem become your problem and whether you’re going to let her words poison you.

Believe me, if you can learn not to take things personally you will go a LONG way towards creating your own happiness. You could have the whole school gossiping about you and not care because you’ll know that it’s just a bunch of people dealing with their own stuff (though I recognize that this still wouldn’t be a pleasant situation and it’s an extreme example but it is true.) Realizing that “It’s not you, it’s them” also takes their power away and you will realize that you trust them less but trust yourself more.

Really, lots of peer pressures, whether it’s the pressure to take drugs, try alcohol, cheat on a test, lie to your parents or anything else, also has nothing to do with you. The friend who is pressuring you to try drugs is likely insecure, troubled, has a bad home life or other problems. They want you to try drugs to make their own behavior acceptable and why on earth would you want to give someone that power? You put your life in jeopardy because you want to make them feel better. It’s not about you. It’s about them and when you recognize this, it’s that much easier to say no. Follow your own heart. Listen to your True Self. It will never lead your down the wrong road.

Say it with me now, “It’s Not Me.” (Natasha – this shout out is especially for you. Whenever your brother is being a pain remember “It’s Not About You!” and remind yourself that he’s just dealing with his own stuff but is taking it out on you and you are reacting to it (and that goes for anyone else dealing with obnoxious siblings!)

And PS, you will constantly have to practice the “It’s Not Me” mantra even when you get older. I still see this happening to me today at my age and especially at work. I constantly encounter people who try to bring me down and when I can recognize that this is their own stuff that they’re dealing with and that it has nothing to do with me, I can always let it go much more quickly. I also know that when I find myself getting p*ssed off at them, it’s my ego at work. So, remember, don’t take anything personally because it’s not about you.




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