Friday, September 19, 2014

Control & choice

Actor James Dean once said, "I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination."

That's a good reminder to retain our awareness of what's within our control and what is not. Changing the wind is not within our control. Adjusting our sails is. There is much in our lives that's completely out of our control. Knowing the difference is an important part of personal development—and of learning to live healthier lives.

Have you ever found yourself fighting or resisting what is? Perhaps it's an illness that struck you or a loved one. Or a change in job duties that you don't want. That struggle can be exhausting. You do have choices, even though sometimes it doesn't feel that way. At the very least, you have a choice as to how you will respond. Will you accept the job changes? Will you even make the best of them, at least until you can find a new job (if that's what you need to do)? Will you participate in choosing your treatment for the illness—and perhaps even actively seek out options yourself?

Reinhold Niebuhr's Serenity Prayer can also be a helpful reminder for such situations: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference."

Go ahead: Adjust your sails today and get where you want to go just the same. Then enjoy the serenity that follows.

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