- Your plane is delayed.
- The person driving is front of you is being a jerk.
- The cashier is casually conversing with the person in the line ahead of you and you are already running late for your doctor’s appointment.
- You planned your daughter’s birthday party in the park with lots of activities only to arrive at the park and find that someone else is occupying the place you reserved.
These are only a few of the types of things we experience on a regular basis. And if you are having a really good day, all of the above could be happening that day!
The reality is that many of us allow incidents such as these to ruin our day – and possibly the day of those closest to us.
Pause to ask yourself a question: “What do I genuinely control in this situation?” This is a simple question. Yet, if applied to every situation we experience that frustrates us, and if we answer honestly without placing blame, this simple question will help us regain control of our lives and attitude.
Why do we give so much of our time and energy to things over which we have no control? I am not sure what the answer is, but part of it is our need to be in control. We need to feel that we have the power to affect the desired result we want in any given situation or person. Well, how is that working out for you?
The reality is, we cannot and never will be able to control all things – even all things which impact our own lives. We must recognize that we have limited control that resides with our power to choose our attitude, and choose how we want to act, speak and think. Beyond this limited sphere of control, most things are out of our control. We will accomplish more, and life will be more fulfilling, if we learn to focus our time and resources on what we actually can control.
I think this is what Jesus was getting at in Matthew 6 when He admonished us to not worry. Worry is giving time and energy to things over which we have no control. Focus your energy on the things you can control. If you are involved in a conflict at the moment, rather than focusing your time and energy on how you want the other person to behave and think, why not instead focus on what you can do to resolve the conflict?
It may not be a conflict but a relationship that is strained because of some misunderstanding. Rather than waiting for the other person(s) to respond in the way you desire, why not take the initiative and do what is within your control to begin clearing up the misunderstanding and start bringing healing to the relationship?
It takes far more energy to live in conflict and misunderstanding than it does to live in healthy, thriving relationships. And the rewards are much better as well!
Take a few minutes and reflect on the things you have been giving your time and energy to: Are they within your control? Or are you wasting time and energy on things you cannot control?
Why not make a conscious decision starting today that you will devote your time and energy only to the things over which you have control, and not to worrying about the things you cannot control. If you do, likely you will be amazed at how much lighter, more fulfilling and satisfying life will become.
If you would like help in achieving your goals as a leader or in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.