Acceptance is the art of being at peace in uncomfortable situations. When things aren’t going our way we try to change them so we’re not uncomfortable any more.
There are simple things, like when you’re hungry you eat. If you’re uncomfortable in your seat, you wiggle around to get more comfortable.
And there are the more complicated ways of feeling uncomfortable. You don’t get on with a co-worker so you avoid them. You don’t like a particular political view so you say that people who think that way are stupid.
Building the skill of acceptance takes practice.
Imagine it’s a rainy day. You forgot your umbrella, your coat and your hat. You’re going to get wet.
You could hold a newspaper over your head. You could run to get out of the rain quicker. You could hunch a bit so that you’re a smaller target.
Whatever you do, you’re going to get wet.
You can use the rain storm to practice acceptance.
You could accept that you’re going to get wet, walk tall and enjoy how the rain gets you wet.
20 minutes after you get where you’re going, you’ll be dried out. Accepting the rain fundamentally changes your experience of getting caught in a rain storm.
Likewise, accepting your colleagues without wanting to change them can fundamentally change your experience of work.