There are many things in life we cannot control. I’d say, in this infinite universe, almost 100% of the things in life we cannot control. That’s how powerless we are. How miniscule we are in the grand scheme of it all.
I can’t control the weather. I can’t control when my customers will place an order with me. Nor when they decide that they will no longer do so. I can’t control how my girlfriend, mom, dad, and friends feel at any moment in time. I can’t control making them happy or making them sad. I can’t control the climate of the world. I can’t control the greater NYC community. I can’t control the number of people in NYC that are homeless and hungry at this moment.
I can’t control a lot. And it feels like we are powerless to stop it all. But, what we can control has importance as well. We can control our perspective. We can control our actions. And that, to each and every one of us, is just as important as being some sort of Superman.
Our perspectives can help us heal. Our perspectives can help us motivate. Our perspectives can help us learn and improve ourselves and the world. How we see life is the most important thing in the world.
We can be caring for an aging parent. We can be going through an emotional break-up. We can be looking a promotion or a demotion in the eye. But, regardless, of the external circumstance swirling around us, we can control how we see and what we see. That, in itself, is a grand superpower.
We can be surrounded by chaos. In the midst of a coronavirus pandemic. Toiling away at a job that doesn’t pay enough or doesn’t challenge enough. But, we can still control how we see the situation. Will we view it with despair? Or will we view it with hope? Will we see things in a pessimistic way or an optimistic way?
We can control that. And for what it’s worth, it’s something that we should cherish. It’s easy to feel great and wonderful when the external circumstances are happening your way. I was so excited when I got my first girlfriend. So, this is what it feels like! This is what having a girlfriend does to you!
And that type of cloud nine was visible in my face, in my walk, in everything I did. I had feeling of invincibility amongst myself. But, the thing is, I left my external circumstances (no matter how good it felt) dictate how I felt. And that, in itself, can be a tricky situation to navigate.
Things are not as easy to define as it seems. When things are going well around you, it’s obvious that you will feel great. When you buy that dream home in France. When you have a kid. When you get married. All these external circumstances will help you celebrate and cherish.
But, what about the other end of the stick? What if you are going through a breakup? Or a death in the family? Or hunger, famine, sickness, disease? What if you are going thru those unfortunate circumstances? Do you wallow in self-pity, or do you roll up your sleeves and take the more optimistic view?
I’m not saying that we should all be happy-go-lucky at every moment in time. That is far from reachable. We’re not going to be all jumping off the walls and celebrating like there’s no tomorrow, when we’re going thru a divorce. That’s not practical neither.
I’m just saying that we have the power to control our thoughts and views. And how we control them is pivotal in helping us see the world. Will we strive to improve? To learn? To grow? To include? To love? Even in times of despair? In times of seeming hopelessness?
Those are all good questions to ask yourself. What if the external environment is so chaotic, so hopeless, so infuriating from a witness’s perspective? What will you do in those cases? There’s no right answer to that question. It’s just something to ponder.
Because regardless of how “good” or how “bad” we have it, we have the power to control our views and our perspective. And that is something that we should all cherish. Something we should not take for granted. It’s easier said than done (I know firsthand), but it’s possible.
And that’s a gift that the creator has placed in our hands. Our ability to choose how to operate our minds. We have that power. That, at least, is something we can control.