There are things that you cannot control, and things you can. Where you focus is important. It has much to do with how you view your life and happiness.
Things You Cannot Control
You cannot control the government or which party controls the Presidency, the Congress, or the Senate. You cannot control the policies they make or enforce. Unless politics is your life’s work, you have very little influence.
You cannot control the economy. You personally have no ability change the economy for better or for worse. You can do nothing about recessions, and you can do nothing to make sure you have an opportunity for growth. The economy does what it does with no consideration of your needs whatsoever.
You cannot control your prospects, your customers, your clients, your competitors or the people who work inside them. Nor can you control the people you work with, the people you work for, or any other person you encounter. You can’t stop people from making decisions and taking action with which you disagree. People are going to do what they will do.
This is a very small part of a very, very long list. But there is another list.
Things You Can Control
You can control what you believe about your government, your economy, your clients, and other people. You can control whether you view them in a generally positive or negative light. You can decide not be consumed with things you cannot control and let them go.
You can control your attitude. You can control how you interpret events and circumstances and what they mean to you. You can decide to be grateful, positive, and optimistic. It’s a choice that is wholly within your control.
You can also control whether you view the world as a place of scarcity or abundance. You can choose to see possibilities or problems. You choose to see obstacles or opportunities. This decision is yours alone to make for yourself.
You can control your own actions. You can control whether you do good work and make a positive contribution or whether you do the bare minimum required of you. You decide whether your work is intentional and meaningful or a “job.” You can give yourself over to your real work.
You can control how you treat other people. You can choose compassion as your default in all human relationships. You can choose forgiveness over blame. You can invest in relationships and leave the people whose lives you touch better than you found them.
You can control what kind of leader you are. You can be the kind of leader who builds other leaders and leaves a lasting legacy. You can be person who made a difference in people’s lives; you can be the person who helped them to see what they were truly capable of.
You can control whether you make a contribution to those in need. You can be that candle that lights dozens, or hundreds, or thousands of other candles, never losing the flame yourself and still having more to give.
There is no reason to spend time worrying about things you cannot control. If you are worried about something and there is something you can do about it, do that thing. But if there’s nothing you can do about it, there’s no reason to invest emotional energy in something that brings you pain, fear, doubt, or negativity.
The very best investment of your time and emotional energy is spent on the things that you can control. The list above is a good place to start.