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With the annual madness that is Christmas / Thanksgiving / Black Friday approaching all too rapidly, it’s easy to be swept away by it all. It’s a topic we revisit every year around this time, although from various different angles. If you’d like a quick reminder, here they are: 
 
How to reduce the stress of the occasion. 
 
A reminder that it doesn’t have to be perfect
 
 
 
And, for those who want to go a little further, the art of forgiveness
 
This year, we’d like to give you a little thought – or mantra, if you prefer – to help smooth your way through life all year round. Not just at this time of year. 
 
 
While it may sound blindingly obvious, it’s one that’s easy to forget, particularly when the collective stress levels are rising. Here it is: 
 
Everyone is always doing the best they know how. 
 
Now, before we go any further, we’d like to emphasise a couple of things. 
 
To start with, by everyone, we mean everyone. And that includes you. Goodness, that takes the pressure off! 
 
Just as importantly, there are two other words in this little phrase that need to be remembered. We’ll put them in italics to make them easy to spot. 
 
Everyone is always doing the best they know how. 
 
In any situation – and regardless of how it may seem to those around them – we are each doing the best we know how at that moment. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about it. Or the way in which it’s being done. Whether it could have been done differently – or not at all (!). 
 
For that person at that particular moment, they’re doing the best they know how. Full stop. End of story. 
 
Just because they’ve chosen to act – or react – in a particular way this time, it doesn’t mean they have to do exactly the same thing again in the future. After all, however similar a situation may seem, each one is unique. All possibilities are open. To act / react in the same – or similar – way or do things differently. 
 
So, rather than letting the Little Monster in your head go straight into the “Judgement game” – which quickly leads on to the perennially favourite “Blame Game”, “It wasn’t me guv, it was them” – how about taking a deep breath. Repeating this little mantra to yourself. Everyone is always doing the best they know how. Yes, everyone is always doing the best they know how. 
 
By choosing not to be swept away in all the madness, you’ll remain in control of your life. Not only does this make life easier for you but those around you too. While it may not always be easy to cut people a little slack, it reduces your stress levels no end. And this should be a huge incentive to do it in itself. 
 
Even better, by being more accepting – and forgiving – of others when things go awry, you’ll find that people return the compliment. And, however much we may like to think the opposite, none of us are perfect (!). 
 
More often than not, those who help us aren’t those we’ve helped. They’re complete strangers who’re simply passing on the kindness they’ve received from others. It’s then up to us to pass it on and so the chain continues, unbroken. A little kindness really does help the world go round. 
 
Everyone is always doing the best they know how. 
 
Yes, everyone is really doing the best they know how. 
 
As always, the choice is yours. 
 
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