1 Tiny Yet Hard Step You Need to Take for Yourself
WRITTENbyMARC CHERNOFF//38 COMMENTS
Too often people overestimate the significance of one big defining moment and underestimate the value of making good decisions and tiny steps of progress on a daily basis.
Youre probably familiar with whats known as the Serenity Prayer. It goes like this:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Theres an important lesson hereone thats very often glossed over
When a chaotic reality is swirling around us, we often try to relieve our anxiety by exerting our will over external things we cannot control.
It helps us stave off one of the most dreaded feelings: complete powerlessness.
With that in mind, I have good news and bad news.
The bad news is that generally speaking, almost everything isoutside your control. What other people do, whether it will rain tomorrow, whether or not your efforts will be appreciatedall of these outcomes depend on factors that arent YOU.
But thats also the good news.
The friction and frustration created by trying to change things you cannot change is the crucible where a ton of unhappiness is born. Accepting that most things are outside your influence gives you explicit permission to let them unfold as they may.
Stoic philosopher Epictetus put it this way:
Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our actions.
Overcoming the three big uns that so many of us struggle with dailyunhappiness,unconvinced things will ever change,unsure what to do nextbegins with understanding what you can control and what you cannot.
The mental shift here is not easy. Most of us have spent a lifetime worrying about things that we cant control. Society practically encourages this. For most, its a bona fide habitone that should be replaced with a healthy understanding of how much we can actually change. Again though, its hard to get your mind wrapped around all this when youre constantly hearing
Why dont you just get over it?orJust let it go.
Weve all heard some flavor of this advice before. And it passes the sniff test, to a certain extent.
I mean, time heals all wounds, right? Well, yes sort of. But wounds heal differently depending on how theyre treated.
Left alone, a gash in your skin will leave a large scar and be vulnerable to injury again in the future. This is why we get stitchesit helps the wound heal in a way that limits the chance of re-injury down the road.
Emotional wounds work the same way. Given enough time, most emotional pain will diminishthats true. But