We tend to give ourselves less credit than what is due when it comes to how much control we have in our lives. We often want to control things that are out of our reach. On the other hand, we tend to believe that we are incapable of controlling things that are in our reach. But once we are able to sort what is and what is not in our control, at least some stress/confusion will be alleviated.
Things we can’t control:
- Weather. As much as we like to think that weather corresponds with our mood, it is all Mother Nature’s doing. No control here. (as much as I want the weather to be more consistent instead of alternating between sun and rain for the past few weeks)
- People. Sure we can try and nudge people towards how we want them to think but at the end of the day, everyone is entitled to their own opinions and beliefs.
- Time. Regardless of how fast or slow the day seems, time is always ticking forward.
- Past. We can rewind the past in our heads as much as we want, but the beginning, middle, and end will always remain the same. The past is important to reflect back on, but it is important to stay in the present and look forwards, not back.
- Traffic. One thing I do not miss about California is the god-awful traffic on the I-405 N. As much as we would like to fly by all the green lights, we know that red lights are inevitable on days when we are in a rush. Again, out of our control.
Things we can control:
- Manners. Smiles, thank you’s, how are you’s, all can turn someone’s day around. Being polite is never overrated.
- Physical well-being. Food intake, exercise, and alcohol consumption are all in our complete control. Just think about how hard your body works each and every day. Treat your body right. Also, being healthier leads to a happier mindset.
- Preparation. Whether it is for a presentation, exam, trip, or cleaning the house before guests come over, preparation is the key to success. Like I always say, there is no such thing as over-preparing, but there is definitely such thing as under-preparing.
- Stress. Stress can actually be a good thing, contrary to popular belief! I like to approach all potential stresses as eustresses (positive stresses). I try my best to perceive stressful situations as opportunities for good outcomes.
- Money. Set up a savings account. Log your spendings and see where you can cut down expenses in. Do not over-treat yourself (because at that point it is not really ‘treating’ yourself).