Let it happen, if it wants, to whatever it can happen to. And what’s affected can complain about it if it wants. It doesn’t hurt me unless I interpret its happening as harmful to me. I can choose not to. –Marcus Aurelius

Recently at work, a colleague posted a message in a public forum along the lines of “product X isn’t as successful as product Y”.
The message implied that success is measured by number of customers and it’s true that X’s number of actives is smaller than Y. However, I didn’t think that the comparison was apt because the two products have fundamentally different goals, target different customer segments, and hence success is measured differently. Given that I worked on X and was emotionally charged while reading the message, I replied back in the same forum pointing out how comparing the two products on the number of customers was not fair.

The issue is that I’ve been ruminating on this message for the past two days. I’d like to think I’m mostly a rational human but the truth is that I’m also an emotional being so my overall happiness gets affected considerably from messages such as above.

Earlier today, I read the quote above from the Stoic philosopher and tried detaching myself from my perceived intention of this message and asked “what if this person did not mean to hurt me and my team? and if so how should I have responded to them?”
I realized that a) I should have written to them privately on how the statement was not correct, b) how terms such as “successful” can influence others to dismiss product X, and finally c) suggested a better way of writing the message “product X does not have as many active customers as product Y”.

It was only once I found a way of improving my own behavior by not considering the message as harmful that I felt inner peace.