PURSUIT OF CALM #47
Identify What You Can & Cannot Control
Strategies To Become Your Best Possible Self
Happiness and ones freedom begins with a clear understanding of one simple principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not.
It is only by soberly facing this fundamental life rule – to mindfully distinguish between what you can and cannot control – that we can begin to re-establish the inner tranquility that we require to exert greater, more consistent outer-effectiveness in our day to day.
When you are free, you have no choice.
Within our control are our choices, our choice in values, opinions, goals, desires and motivation, plus the things that repel us. We always have choice about our morals & virtues, and about the contents and the character of our inner-lives.
We have no control over what life throws at us or how we are regarded by others – but we do have complete control how, or if, we respond.
Things outside our control also includes such things as what kind of body we have, or where we’re born, or if we’re born into wealth or poverty. It’s important to remind ourselves everyday that those things that are external to our realm of choice cannot be our concern. Torment, anxiety and frustration are the dividends paid to us when we attempt to control or change what we can’t.
It’s important to remember that the very things that are within our power are freely and naturally at our disposal – with no restraint or hindrance; but those things outside our power are weak, dependant, or determined by the whims and actions of others.
Remember, too, that if you think that you have free rein over the things that are naturally beyond your control, or if you seek to adopt the affairs of others as your own, you will kibosh your pursuits resulting in frustration & anxiousness.
Why is this strategy so important, so incredibly helpful?
The health and vitality of our state of mind & body is solely dependant on making wise, reasoned choices for ourselves. Modernity suffocates our ability to make reasoned choices due to the avalanche of choices available.
Media, marketing, information technology and global connectivity now means that we have a deluge of choice – most of which only impedes our attention and keeps us insatiable for constant distraction…making us numb, dull and lazy.
Two principle sources of human unhappiness stem from our insatiability and our tendency to worry and react to events and stimulus beyond our control…two things modernity increasingly challenges us with everyday…two things that are in our ability to control.
We need life-tools now more than ever to cut through the choice-saturated world we live in – so we’re better abled to direct our attention and intention to the things that truly matter…the things within our realm of choice. We need to consciously vet our choices of thought, word, and deed to help us live clear-sighted, ennobled lives.
“The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and seperate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices
I actually control.
Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own.”
The Three C’s in Life
Choices, Chances, Changes.
You must make a choice to take a chance or your
life will never change.
Inspired by Epictetus, Krishnamurti