Friday, December 5, 2014

Serenity, Control, Focus and Choices


Most of us have heard these words in some form or another. 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. 

This motto has served me well now for many years, nearly 20 in fact, but very recently I had a significant struggle that was deeply affecting me. 

In my family, and among most people I know I am the joyful one, the positive one, the one that lets things go. But recently at my 9-5, my office (not the position or the company, just the physical location) closed and we have been relocated to a new location. The result of this is that my commute 2-3 days a week when I work in the office, increased from 15-20 minutes to 75-90 minutes. Each way. 

I have spent a lot of time being cranky and crabby and even drained and mentally exhausted over the past 2 weeks. Now, I grant you 2 weeks is not a lot of time, but for a person who is generally positive and joyful it has felt like a lifetime. 

Just yesterday, I was reciting this poem/prayer in my mind and berating the thoughts that this drive time, the traffic and the rude other drivers are all things I can't control, and I spent my energy trying to convince myself that I needed to find a way to accept them. 

Thankfully, I am a student of personal development. This morning, I grabbed one of my Anthony Robbins audio courses that I have completed before, but knew his energy and his words would be positive food for my mind during the 90 minute drive time. 

I was right. using that time to MY advantage, I regained control. 

THAT is the thing that was making me angry. I don't discount significance of the loss of 3 hours in my day, and the motivation that gives me to grow my entrepreneurial efforts so that I can retire from my 9-5 permanently. But my focus was going to the wrong place because of the loss of control. 

Whether you are a typical OCD type, or you have anyone in your life who has ever mentioned that you have control issues or are a control freak, we ALL have control issues. When we feel that someone or something outside of ourselves has taken control of us in some way, we fight it. We get angry. We get resentful. Most dangerously, we often become complacent. 

There are things in all of our lives that we cannot control. That is very true. What I noticed this week is that we still have choices. 

Even in a situation that is not of your making, even in the worst possible circumstance, you can choose what you focus on. 

And THAT will make all the difference! 

Today, rather than lamenting the control that has been taken from me, I focus on the choices I still have. I control my thoughts, I control my attitude, I control my influence. 

What choices would or could you make differently if you shifted your focus? 

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