“Ain’t no sense worryin’ about the things you got control over, ’cause if you got control over ’em, ain’t no sense worryin’. And ain’t no sense worryin’ about the things you don’t got control over, ’cause if you don’t got control over ’em, ain’t no sense worryin’.” ~ Mickey Rivers
Leading in to the New Year, many of us reflect on the year that was and identify areas of our lives to focus on and become more aware of and/or focus (or get off autopilot) upon for the coming year. As I have been doing this, I have become more and more aware of the areas of my life that are in my control and the areas or aspects that are not.
I am really enjoying this process. It is giving me clarity on how many things I have been focusing on that are not in my control. For me, I have been exercising the habit of self-compassion during this process as it could have been quite easy to start beating myself up as some of my insights seem so clear now, however I wasn’t seeing them before I took time out to reflect.
A few quotes that have resonated with me on this topic of things outside of my control include –
- “Why worry about things you can’t control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you?” ~ Unknown
- “Stop letting people who do so little for you, control so much of your mind, feelings and emotions.” ~ Unknown
- “Focus on what you can control, and don’t waste energy on the things that you cannot.” ~ Unknown
- “Don’t let your happiness be controlled by something you cannot control.” ~ Unknown
- “I can find only three kinds of business in the universe: mine, yours and God’s. Much of our stress comes from mentally living out of our business. When I think, “You need to get a job, I want you to be happy, you should be on time, you need to take better care of yourself,” I am in your business. When I’m worried about earthquakes, floods, war, or when I will die, I am in God’s business. If I am mentally in your business or in God’s business, the effect is separation.” ~ Byron Katie
So, What are the Things I Have Found I Can Control?
To start with I will focus on some areas I can control with some explanations. I can control –
- Where my focus is from moment to moment – “I can choose to feel good”, “I can choose love over fear” or any other choice. Every moment gives us the chance to start afresh and there is a choice!
- My reaction to situations – “Nobody can hurt me without my permission.” ~ Mahatma Ghandi. If I am reacting to situations, I need to inquire and investigate what I am thinking about the situation. Sometimes I also ask – what do I need to learn or remember here? “You can never control or change how others think, feel or act. You can only change how you think, feel and act and lead by example.” ~ Celestine Chua
- My forgiveness levels – I know life can be challenging sometimes, especially when things have happened that were deeply harmful and/or hurtful. You may be convinced that your anger will protect you and keep you strong. However, I have learnt that holding anger and resentment can weaken you and also keep us stuck in the past. In many ways, forgiveness is for ourselves more so that other people and as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. indicated “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” Mahatma Ghandi also said “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
- Where I spend or invest my time – I do have a choice where I spend and invest my time. Are these activities and situations nourishing your energy or draining it? Only you will know the answer to this!
- How much practice I do on different aspects of my life – I know I need to keep reminding myself of different aspects of life and the things I learn – that is why I called the business Habits for Wellbeing – I need to keep practising as well to master my own life. These quotes sum practise up – “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.” ~ Mahatma Ghandi and Lao Tzu “To know and to not yet do, is to not yet know.”
- How I show up in the world – each day I spend some time reflecting as I know “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” ~ Mahatma Ghandi.
Some other areas I can control include –
- What food I put in to my mouth.
- How much exercise I do.
- How many compliments I give out per day.
- How many times I laugh, cry or express my feelings (in an ecological way of course).
- Who, when and where I ask for help.
- What books I read.
- How I interpret situations.
- My level of honesty and truth I speak.
- How much time you spend watching TV.
- How clean or cluttered your environment is.
- Whether I choose to share feedback or not.
- What I learn.
- Which commitments you keep and which ones you don’t.
What else can you control that I have missed off the list. Feel free to share below or on our Facebook page.
I hope this has helped you identify what you can control and what you cannot as you learn how to master your life.
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