If the pandemic taught us anything in these past two years it is that there are things in life over which we have no control While we cannot control the weather, death, or another’s thoughts, much as we might like to. Yet how many of us spend hours and hours worrying about or trying to change things over which we have no control.
The problem with expending all this energy and time is that our level of optimism takes a hit, and we fail to see other possibilities.
It’s good therefore always to ask what are the areas in my life that I actually can do something about? Indeed, this shift in focusing more on what we do have influence over is a great emotional intelligence skill.
It’s a great question for us to think about. Here are 10 I came up with and I am sure there are others.
1. Our actions. We alone are responsible for what we do.
2. Our words. Spoken or written, the words we choose impact our lives and the lives of others.
3. Our beliefs. If we believe that others should take care of our needs, then we will be frustrated when they don’t. We can change our beliefs.
4. Our values. What’s important to us is our call. No one else can tell us what to value.
5. Our work. Although many of us complain of being stuck in a job or profession, we do actually get to choose what our work in the world is.
6. Our friends. Those we associate with say a lot about what we think about ourselves. We can choose to have friends who support us or who bring us down.
7. Our input. We can select our sources of news, turn off televisions and/or ignore advertising.
8. Our time. Though it sometimes feels like we have no choice, we do choose every day how we will use the 24 hours a day gives us.
9. Our basic health. While we cannot control our genetic makeup, we can choose to exercise, sleep enough, eat healthy food, get routine check-ups, etc.
- Our legacy. All that we choose while alive—our actions, words, etc.—will become the gift we leave when we die.
IN the coming days, try and become more self-aware of what you are focusing on. Are they things you have no control over? If so how might you refocus to and invest your time and energy into things you can influence.