Most of us grow up having a vision of what our life will look like one day. It looks a little different for everyone, but for most it includes landing a dream job, getting married, and having a family. Regardless of what it looks like, one thing is true for everyone – we think we know what we want and how it will look. In reality though, things never work out exactly the way we envision them. Even if we have everything we want, it’s not going to look exactly like we thought it would.
How would you describe your life right now? We may love our life but on a day-to-day basis it probably feels a bit crazy, unpredictable and chaotic. There’s so much in life that we have no control over, but that doesn’t mean we should just throw our hands up and admit defeat. Let’s shift the focus. Instead of trying to control everything, work towards controlling the things we truly have control over.
Every single day, we have the ability to choose what our attitude will be and how we’ll react to the things that happen. We only have two choices: we can choose to be positive or we can choose to be negative. It may not always be easy, but choose positive. I have a daily morning practice where I go through my day and plan everything out. I know how I want to feel and how I want to react to certain situations.
The thing that I have no control over is if the day goes as planned or not. Maybe I have an important meeting planned and the client cancels last minute, or maybe I’m the one who is forced to cancel because one of my kids are sick. Either way, I have no control over that. What I can control, however, is how I react. I can let it ruin the rest of my day, or I can have a positive attitude and find a solution. One thing is for certain… nothing good ever comes from a place of negativity or anger, so it is important to take control over our attitude.
How hard are we willing to work to get the results that we want? Whether it be in our personal or professional life, how much effort are we willing to invest to get what we want? It’s easy to make statements like “I want a promotion at work” or “I want a better relationship with my spouse” but those things won’t happen unless we put in the work. We may not be able to control the end result, but we can control the effort we put in. Our effort makes the chances of achieving our desired result much more likely. For me personally, if I focus my effort I feel much more productive and accomplished.
Doing the Right Thing
Every day we’re faced with difficult decisions. We can cut corners or we can do what is right. There’s always going to be an easy way around a hard issue or the option to avoid it altogether. Either way the choice is ours. For example, it may be tempting to let kids linger on electronics because it would make life easier for us, but we can choose to be intentional in our time with them. Playing house or football with them might not be on the top of our to-do list, but seeing their faces light up with joy reminds us of why we’re doing it.
The same goes for work projects. When we’re presented with a short cut, it’s easy to want to take that route. Chances are we won’t be rewarded with that same sense of accomplishment had we chosen to do it the right way. Choosing to do the right thing is rarely easy, but neither is living with regret. Ultimately, the choice is ours.
What are the key things in life that we can control? Don’t let the things that we have no control over have a big impact on our life. If we do, we will always feel like we’re stuck in that hamster wheel…always chasing something but never quite achieving success. Stay positive and stay focused on the controllable and success will be the inevitable outcome.