Let go of the things you cannot influence

Varberg // own photo


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.


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