It's Not About You

The late Shawn Narcis made me watch Dr Strange with him. It was a movie I had to watch, he said. And just as The Ancient One administered Dr. Steven Strange with sagely advise, “It’s not about you”, Shawn administered 3 sharp elbow jabs into my ribs. “It’s not about you, bro”, Shawn whispered to me loudly. It turns out he made me go to the cinema with him just so he could make this one point.


"It’s not about you."

Of course, I was slightly offended (more embarrassed, actually). Did he mean to say that I was selfish? Should I think of others more? Why did he specifically jab me? Maybe it wasn’t me.

Except it was. Even the fact that I took all that time to think about that meant that I made it about me.


Think of all your problems, the ones that you are frustrated about. Now think about all the people behind those problems, and how they frustrate you even more than the problem. If only those people would understand your point of view.

"It’s not about you."

When your spouse is unhappy with you, it’s not about you. It’s about the marriage.

When your boss is being unreasonable, it’s not about you. It’s about delivering results.

When your colleagues are uncooperative, it’s not about you. It’s about the working environment.

If it’s not about you, it must be about something bigger than you. Dreamers call it a Dream, go-getters call it a Goal and organisations call it a Vision. The next time you feel like giving up out of anger, frustration or fear, don’t.

Instead, ask yourself these 3 questions-

  1. What is “it”? (The Vision, Goal, Dream, Desired Outcome, etc.)

  2. Do you believe in it? (If yes, move to 3. If no, find a new “it”.)

  3. What can you contribute? (Knowledge, Skills, Attitude)