“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Marcus Aurelius, the famous Roman emperor and philosopher, once faced a difficult situation where he was forced to confront the things he could not control. As he sat on his throne, surrounded by the chaos and turmoil of war, he realized that he could not control the actions of others or even the outcome of the war itself. But, instead of getting bogged down by what he couldn’t control, he chose to focus on what he could control: his own thoughts, emotions, and actions. He understood that by doing so, he could find peace and inner calm amidst the chaos and uncertainty of the world around him.
Learning to focus on what you can control versus what you can’t can have a significant impact on your life. It can help you to feel more in control of your life, reduce stress, and improve your overall well-being.
The Negative Effects of Focusing on What You Can’t Control
One of the main reasons that people feel stressed and overwhelmed is that they spend too much time focusing on things they can’t control. This might include worrying about the future, dwelling on past mistakes, or trying to control the actions of others.
Focusing on things you can’t control can make it easy to become stuck in a negative cycle of thoughts and feelings. You may feel helpless and powerless, which can lead to anxiety and depression.
On the other hand, when you focus on things you can control, you can take action and make positive changes in your life. This can help to improve your mood, boost your self-esteem, and reduce stress.
Identifying What You Can Control in Your Life
One way to start focusing on what you can control is to make a list of all the things in your life you can control. This might include things like your thoughts, your actions, your spending habits, and your relationships. Once you clearly understand what you can control, you can start taking action to make positive changes in these areas of your life.
For example, if you’re feeling stressed about your finances, you can focus on things that you can control, such as creating a budget, sticking to it, and looking for ways to increase your income. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your workload, you can focus on things you can control, like prioritizing your tasks, delegating some tasks, and making a schedule to stay organized.
Another way to focus on what you can control is to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is essentially being present in the moment and concentrating on your thoughts and feelings without judgment. When you’re mindful, you’re able to observe your thoughts and emotions without getting caught up in them. This can help you to be more aware of what you can control and take action to make positive changes in your life.
In addition, it’s essential to focus on things you can control, such as your attitude and perspective. It’s easy to get bogged down by negative thoughts and feelings, but when you focus on maintaining a positive attitude and looking at things from a different perspective, you create the opportunity for change within yourself.
You Can’t Control Everything. And That’s Okay.
It’s also important to be realistic about what you can control. You can’t control everything in your life, and that’s okay. Instead, focus on the things you can control and use that control to make positive changes in your life.
You may not be a Roman Emperor, but learning to focus on what you can control versus what you can’t can have a significant impact on your life. It can help you to feel more in control of your life, reduce stress, and improve your overall well-being. By focusing on things that you can control, you can take action to make positive changes in your life, practice mindfulness to become more aware of what you can control, maintain a positive attitude and perspective, and be realistic about what you can control.