To stay stress free, take care of your own business and not other’s business

The other day some friends asked me what Tacomob actually means and stands for.  As this is a FAQ I often encounter, let me share my thoughts here:

In one sentence, I prefer to Tacomob instead of mentally doing other’s business.

What do I mean with “other’s business”?

Example thoughts of being in “other’s business”:

  • You need to get a job.
  • I want you to be happy.
  • You should be on time.
  • My wife should love me more.
  • You need to take better care of yourself.
  • Julie did not smile at me.
  • My children do not care enough for me.
  • My employer should appreciate me.
  • People should be kinder to me.

You will have noticed that in all the above examples, the person thinking these thoughts is linking his well-being to something someone else should or should not do, which obviously is out of his control.   It is the other person’s business to do or not do what he needs to do, not yours.

If you do not waste your energy minding other people’s business,  you can be much more focused on taking care of your own business; to Tacomob and be relatively stress free.


Examples of Tacomob:

  • Taking care of my health.
  • Maintaining peace of mind.
  • Doing what is right for my heart.
  • Giving my 100% in whatever I take up.
  • Investing for the long-term.
  • Apply the hard, slow, rational thinking often.
  • Taking full responsibility for my life without resorting to blame.

So the next time you feel stress, the best thing to do is to take a look at whose business you are in.  Chances are that you are doing other’s business.

You can then laugh at it, let it go, and get back to Tacomob—which really is doing the right thing for yourself—instead of dwelling on external circumstances you have no control over and becoming miserable.

To Tacomob means having the courage to act instead of react.

Tacomob could also be described as Egoism, which is both a psychological theory (everyone IS selfish) and a normative view (everyone OUGHT to be selfish).

Isn’t it rational to be selfish?  What do you think?


“Time is the coin of your life.  It is the only coin you have and only you can determine how it will be spent.  Be careful, lest you let other people spend it for you.” — Carl Sandburg, author


  1. Andy,

    Very true. I have the similar living principles that we cannot control others’ action/situation but we can always control our reaction (which is continue to stay positive and move on).

    Great post there…

  2. Hi Andy,

    I would think that “others” and “my” business are not always mutually exclusive.

    They usually are, but I think real harmony comes when both overlap.

    I am happy because I have done my part for others, I need no “thanks” or “repayment”

    But I think it is already not easy to mind own business.

    But minding own business defintely need not be selfish and egoism.

    My business is to care for people I care. I still minding my business. How long can we only mind our business before it bounce back at us?

    Just my 2 cents worth

    • Hi SI,

      I think I know what you mean.
      I am convinced that one has to take care of one’s own business and sort that one out first in order to be able to fully take care of others.
      SI, when you say your business is ‘to care for people you care’, then I would consider those people integral part of my business as well.
      What I am trying to say is that we might spent too much time on helping other people who we hardly care much about.

      • Hi Andy,

        Thumbs up for below…..

        “when you say your business is ‘to care for people you care’, then I would consider those people integral part of my business as well.
        What I am trying to say is that we might spent too much time on helping other people who we hardly care much about.”

  3. Hmm…

    This ang moh sure know his Zen stuff.

    You got read up on Eastern philosophies?

    Or maybe its universal wisdom… Just known by different names in different cultures 😉

    • Hi Jared,

      No, definitely not directly as my Eastern language skills are too lousy. I read SMOL though.
      A lot of Eastern philosophies have found its way into Western literature over the centuries. Might be difficult to segregate out the exact origins. I believe what has proven to be true for Asian cultures should also apply to the Western cultures. After all we are all humans with common ancestors (if you go back far enough in time) and we are all citizens of this one world.

  4. i think the meaning of the prayer of an anonymous Christain almost similar to what you are trying to say or do.
    i also think it is easier to say then to do.

    “No one reacts to things as they are but to our own mental images.
    Keep me aware that it is not what happens to me in life that matters but rather how i react to what happens.”

    • Hi Temperament,
      We have no chance to control what happens to us in life. It is also very tough to eliminate the intensity and duration of our emotions triggered by those events. But we do have a chance to control our actual reactions to those events.
      Quite easy in theory, but in theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not. (Yogi Berra)

  5. Hi Andy,

    This is so so true!
    So many times we are unhappy because we are focus on others more than we focus on ourselves and be ourselves.

    Of course, the basic of no stealing, murder, rob, adultery, false witness, more love for others all applies while we focus on ourselves.

    • Hi Rolf,

      Happiness is a choice. We can choose to be happy. There’s always going to be stress in life, but it’s our choice whether we let it/them affect us or not.
      When we focus on what is true, what is good, what is right (those basics you mentioned), happiness follows.

      As Albert Einstein is supposed to have said: “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”

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