How many areas of your life can you influence?
I will now try to list the aspects of my life that I have a lot or some control over.
Let’s start with my health. I know that I can influence my physical health by making the right food choices and by exercising. I can also influence my psychological well-being by staying positive and by deciding how much I let others affect how I feel.
I can make decisions when it comes to my career. I am able to educate myself to make well-informed choices when it comes to my professional life. It is only up to me to decide to take on another course which might advance my career. I might as well choose to be idle and enjoy comfortable life without professional challenges.
I can influence my appearance. I can choose what I wear. I can choose my haircut. I can choose to have the right amount of sleep not only to be healthy but also to look well-rested. Or I may decide to sabotage my health, well-being and appearance by going to bed late. It is up to me.
I can decide, or rather co-decide, how to bring up my child, bearing in mind that my current choices will affect her future. The way she sees herself, what she eats, how she spends her time – my choices will shape her as a person.
I can control how and with whom I spend my time. I can choose to hang around good friends who are truly pleasant to spend time with and whose company enriches me. Or I can decide to surround myself by a large number of random people whose company is fun yet doesn’t bring much value. The choice is mine.
I can decide what I think of myself and of others. I can shape my opinions. I can change my opinions should I feel like it. It is only me who decides what my thoughts are.
I can decide what I eat for dinner. I can decide which route to take to work. I can pick what to eat for lunch. I can choose whether to watch TV or to read a book. I can pick my internet provider and my mobile company. I can choose my partner. I can choose to leave him.
I cannot choose what others think of me. I cannot decide what other people decide – it is just up to them. I have nothing to say when it comes to my sister’s choices – it is her life. I cannot decide who wins the next election, even though I do vote. I have no control over the stock market and over the world economy. I have no influence whether the wars end sooner or later, or f they end at all. I don’t have much to say when it comes to political decisions; it is just out of my hands.
There are already so many choices I am making in my life every single day. There are so many areas I CAN influence. Why would I be wasting my energy on anything that is out of my control?
So here is my mantra: identify what you can control and then focus on what you can influence, change and improve. Let go of the rest.
How do you feel knowing that you don’t control it all, and you don’t have to? Let me know in the comments.