There are a lot of things in this world over which we have little or no control. We have little, and many times no control over weather, some illnesses, traffic, the attitudes and actions of other people, and the cost of necessities such as fuel and groceries.
The reality is that sometimes, a significant amount of what affects our daily lives is out of our hands and out of our control. It can be frustrating and discouraging when the day we planned is disrupted by uncontrollable events, or when things simply don’t go as well as we’d hoped due to an unforeseen problem or the actions of another person.
As long as we dwell on the “what if’s” and “if only’s” and those things which are out of our control, we will feel frustrated, dissatisfied and unfulfilled. The key is to focus on what we can control. And foremost among that which we can control is our own responses to life’s reality, circumstances and specific situations.
Let these powerful quotations from author Viktor E. Frankl sink in:
“Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude.”
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
“Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.”
“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Viktor E. Frankl was a very intelligent man. He was a neurologist and psychiatrist and a best-selling author. He also was a Holocaust survivor. The wisdom he gained from enduring the unspeakable horrors of the Nazi prison camps is applicable not only to life’s worst moments, but also to the daily grind of everyday life.
Much of the external circumstances affecting your life are out of your control. That is, as they say, “reality!” You cannot control many, if not most of these circumstances. So instead of needless, unhealthy and wasteful worry and consternation, simply focus on what you can control.
Choosing how you will respond to the realities of life is a great place to start!