“It’s not what you look at that matters, what matters is what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau
This is one of my favourite quotes, if only because it addresses so much of how we experience life. Every problem, every success, every experience no matter how mundane has the ability to affect you in profound ways.
The underlying philosophy is that what you experience does not matter. How you respond to whatever you experience does matter. One of the biggest lessons I have had to learn in life is how to respond to situations instead of merely reacting to them. You need to put a gap between whatever happens to you and your response to that stimulus, you need to give yourself time to weigh the options and choose the path that’s better.
Then we have to ask “better for whom?” Ideally, you should be attempting to get win-win situations. Assholes think only of themselves. Don’t be an asshole.