Oftentimes, we find ourselves in situations where we are left feeling like it is our self who is the problem and we fail to see the bigger picture. Disappointment is guaranteed to come when you choose to spend your energy trying to control the uncontrollable things in life.
Shakespeare first said, “All the world is a stage,” and I’m beginning to see the truth behind it. To be clear, this isn’t to say we have to go through life as actors, but what this does mean, is we have the ability to be essentially whoever we want to be. Ever since I was 5, I have wanted to write and have filled over a dozen notebooks with poetry, written a blog that reached over a half a million people, and have searched for ways of making this into a career.
Find what makes you tick.
Like most would be, I was under the impression that unless I become a New York Times Bestselling author or a world-renowned blogger, then there would be no way I could make a career out of this, but then I realized something — why exactly is it that I can’t do those things? Is it that I can’t or I just simply don’t? Once I realized that nothing and no one is stopping me from being successful in whichever arena chosen, I couldn’t help but find myself undergoing a shift in mindset. Finding a career of fulfillment is simply finding something you are passionate about. That is not to say that every single passion you choose to turn into a career is going to be successful, but for the most part, if a job exists that lets you do what it is you are passionate about on a regular basis, and pays you money to do so, can be.
So when is the right time to take that leap of faith?
I’m glad you asked and I wish I had a better answer for you than what I am able to respond with, but here it goes — the “right time” is different for everyone. There are no two people who are going to be able to turn the page and enter into that next chapter of life at a time identical to yours so do not fall into a game of comparison. All you need to know is when it will be right for you.
One bad scene will not ruin the entire play.
Going back to what Shakespeare said, the world is all a stage, so with that, we have the ability to play whichever “role” we want. Even more than that, we have the ability to change the role we are in at any point in time, but the best yet, is the fact that no matter what it is you do during that one particular chapter or “scene” of your life, there does not have to be a greater impact than what you allow for. When we allow ourselves to stop saying “it’s a bad life” and start saying “it’s just a bad day,” we will be giving ourselves the gift of forgiveness — something we oftentimes forget we are deserving of.
Oftentimes, we find ourselves in situations where we are left feeling like it is our self who is the problem and we fail to see the bigger picture. Disappointment is guaranteed to come when you choose to spend your energy trying to control the uncontrollable things in life. What I mean by that, is there are a lot of things in life that are within our reach of control and can be changed just as quickly as they came into existence, but there are several other factors that we can do nothing about. For example, the accident on the interstate that stuck you in traffic for a half hour and made you late for an important meeting at work. Unless you created habit out of waking up every morning, with the assumption in mind that there could be an additional half hour of traffic waiting due to an accident, then there would have been no way of prediction.
So what is considered a controllable v. an uncontrollable?
This would seem like an easy question to answer, but in the heat of the moment, we oftentimes forget. To simplify, here are a few examples of things we can control:
- The time we get up in the morning
- What we have for breakfast
- Whether or not we choose to drink coffee or tea
- Your outfit for the day
- Your attitude upon waking
- How much you prepare for a test or class assignment
And here is a list of some things we cannot control:
- Traffic on the way to work
- An accident on the way to a meeting
- A client cancelling on you
- The score at the end of your favorite team’s game
- The loss of a loved one
The most substantial growth that you will undergo in your life, begins to take effect when you learn how to take control over the things you can and seize the desire you have to take power over the things you can’t.
The biggest obstacle we have to overcome is our own mind.
It isn’t everything else that is standing in our way of happiness; it’s ourselves. Ever heard the phrase, “misery loves company?” There’s a reason why that is such a true statement. The majority of people would rather make themselves unhappy with the way their life is right now, rather than accepting this chapter for what it is and moving on from it as circumstances permit.
Almost everything will work again if you try unplugging it.
This pertains to you too. If you feel burnt out, miserable, and overwhelmed, unplug for an hour or two — maybe even a whole day. Give yourself the opportunity to recharge, reset, and reboot, just like you would the cable box. It is far too easy to sit around and tell yourself everything that is wrong, but then this translates to a sense of defeat, rather than resilience and growth.
If you allow yourself to stay within the same mindset you have always had or focused in on the negative aspects of your life, then you are leaving no room for the good. Letting go doesn’t have to be a sign of weakness or surrender. Letting go can be recognition of the lack of need you have in your life for a certain person or thing, and because of that, you are choosing to move on from it. Once you realize the only factor you have control over in the situation is yourself, you begin to stand up for yourself in a way that sometimes translates to parting ways with someone else; however, this is a crucial part of life.
Practice the 6 second response reflex.
The next time you are in a situation that creates some upheavals within you and you feel yourself brewing a remark that may not benefit the conversation, choose to wait six seconds before responding. Our brain’s impulsivity works in five second windows so when you choose to wait longer than five seconds to respond to someone’s statement, you are giving yourself the time it takes to change the tonality, words, and entire meaning of your response. Despite having zero control over another person’s words, we have complete control over how we choose to react and the majority of life is simply a reaction to the circumstances life throws our way.
If you cannot calm the storm, wait for it to pass.
Have you ever found yourself in an argument with a person who wants to have the last word almost as badly as you do? If you have, then you know those arguments tend to go nowhere until one of the people involved, allows themselves a “breather” so both parties can calm. In the majority of cases, these arguments aren’t necessarily ones you can bring to an immediate halt, but what you can do, is give yourself a moment of solace while the “storm” passes and then engage.
Letting go isn’t scary — starting over is.
*Say it louder for the people in the back!* If I could shout this one from the rooftops, I would, because it is something we all need to hear and be reminded of. Our souls crave consistency and comfort. We like what is expected and predictable; therefore, we don’t like the things that change what is routine. Let’s think of it in terms of exercising: If you do the same exercise every day for years upon years, there will come a point where you see very little progress being made. This is because your body has gotten used to the workout so it is no longer being challenged or forced to grow. The same thing happens to us mentally — when nothing new is introduced and we stay in the same bubble, with the same routine, we will eventually lose interest in our own existence.