Accepting Things We Cannot Change
The Serenity Prayer has a phrase in it that is one of the keys to happiness. The line "accept the things I cannot change" is stated in recovery programs all over the world. It is a statement that helps addicts (i.e. chronic malcontents) handle the emotional rigors of daily life. Also, egomaniacs tend to think they can handle everything, which is absolutely untrue. Since most things are outside the realm of our influence, it is senseless to spend emotional energy on it. Yet this is exactly what most people do.
Another line from that same prayer that prayer is "grant me the courage to change the things I can". Here is another area that the majority of people screw up in a big way. While they do not know the bounds of what they can affect, they often overlook those areas that they can. In turn, they live life in a completely backwards way.
For example, consider how much time people spend fretting about what is going on at the upper levels of government. Here is an instance where one is completely powerless over what is going on. Sure, one could join a particular organization which promotes an agenda or influences change. If one does this, he or she is operating in a way that might make an impact. Nevertheless, few do this. Instead they expend emotional energy getting upset at what politicians are doing. In short, it is a total waste of time. Nothing is ever accomplished doing this.
Ergo, it is crucial to determine exactly where we need to focus our attention.
Let The Chips Fall Where They May
This is another saying that I find holds truth. People who have the ability to "let the chips fall where they may" find they enjoy a lot more success in life. Most tend to underachieve because of the simple fact they are too busy trying to dictate outcomes. The reality in life is that it is impossible to focus upon an outcome. Instead, we need to concentrate upon what action is required and taking that action.
Result occur because of the efforts put in. I was in a sales organization run by a man who didnt have a sales background. At the end of every gathering, he would tell everyone that we needed to sell more (a common statement). This showed a gross misunderstanding of how things are. People do not go out and make sales since a sale is a result. What people do is go our make sales calls, presentation, demonstrations, and proposals. In short, a salesperson needs to focus upon the actions that lead up to the sale, not the sale itself.
The same approach is utilized to losing weight, as an example. A person who focuses upon losing 20 pounds is doomed from the start. The proper method is to concentrate upon the activity that equates to weight lose. Special attention needs to be given to the diet program that is followed. At the same time, exercise is am important variable that cannot be overlooked. When actions of this nature are taken, weight loss will result. A person focuses upon the action and lets the chips fall where they may.
Do What Is In Front Of You
A simple way to focus one's attention upon those areas where he or she does have influence is to do whatever is there in the present moment. In other words, just do whatever task is at hand. I realize that I am going contrary to time management experts here but most people have a big problem in handling the simplest of tasks. Taking no action is more common than taking the wrong action. Hence, just do whatever is at hand in that moment.
Few people realize that life is lived on a daily basis. Whatever needs accomplishing should be done. Changing the world begins at home. In addition, changing your life starts with the next action you are going to take. Developing the ability to act on a consistent basis to achieve a desired result is an invaluable trait. This is even more powerful when one can operate from this premise while the world around him or her is collapsing.
In closing, focusing upon what you can control means affecting those areas of your life which actually can result in progress. The world is an out of control place with you as one of 6+ billion inhabitants. If you spend your time worrying about what everyone else is doing, the result will be a lackluster and unfulfilled life. Instead, pinpoint your concentration upon those activities which are right in front of you. Do not look for results, simply actions. Results are produced as a byproduct of your actions. Remember this the next time you want to jump to the conclusion. Your life down the road is affected by the choice you make right now as to the next action you will take. Make it a worthwhile choice.
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