“Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within our control, and some things are not.” - Epictetus
Agency is as intoxicating as it is elusive. When the breaks go your way, it’s easy to believe it’s due to your intelligence and planning. When things go awry, it’s easy to blame others or fate.
The truth is, very little is within your control, but at the same time, you do control everything required to maintain your sense of well-being and prosperity.
You ultimately control only two things. You determine how you choose to perceive yourself, others, and your situation. You also control what you decide to do next.
Everything else is beyond your control.
Your body is subject to disease, decline, and ultimately death. The attitude and behavior of others are for them to decide, not you. And there are forces far more powerful than you at work in the social, political, economic, cultural, and geographical arenas.
However, many things beyond your absolute control are within your influence.
You can eat well and exercise to promote a healthy body. You can adopt a compassionate posture toward others that encourage them to engage their goodness as well.
And you can choose your “battles” and leverage your assets to persuade results that enhance the prospects for all.
This is an excerpt from the book, Endeavor: Cultivate Excellence While Making a Difference.