Watching Brittney Griner, the lanky basketball player, compete on television recently reminded me of the power of “So what?”

Griner, a phenomenal player on the Baylor University team, just won her first NCAA championship. I enjoyed seeing her and the other women compete with passion, fierceness and incredible skill.

As Griner advanced in the playoffs and the spotlight on her grew brighter, the snippy chatter online about her physical characteristics increased exponentially too.

She is unusually tall. So what?

Unusually lanky. So what?

She has an unusually deep voice. So what?

Some have said she looks like a man. I think she looks human.

But what’s really important and real here?

She can still play basketball better than most people. She seems amazingly hardworking, fun and levelheaded.

So what if she looks a little different?

We can all take a lesson from Griner, a young woman of great poise. She hasn’t let self-consciousness or other people’s discomfort, mess or rudeness stop her. She is the one defining what she should focus on.

You may well be short on money. So what? Don’t despair. Keep moving.

You may actually have a lot of money. But you made a bad investment.

You may have found out, once again, that Mr. Right is actually Mr. Wrong.

You may have been late for work… third time this week.

You dropped the butter.

Someone told you your lips are too big.

You’re ugly.

There’s only one good answer to all these situations:

So what?

I mean, really think about it. So what?

You can even do a finger-snap while you say it aloud.

Or just say it silently to yourself as you release a sigh.

Endeavour this weekend to put this phrase to work in helping you manage stress and stay motivated.

It’s a useful tool for keeping life’s challenges in their proper context. People will try to put their baggage on you by making unhelpful observations about you. Give their heavy bags right back to them with, “So what?”

In life you will find yourself in jams that are nobody’s fault. Stay encouraged by stepping back and asking yourself, So what? No one’s dying.

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