Accept what you can, change the rest

Part of the whole Tao of Indifference is learning to adapt advice from unlikely sources.

In this case I present to you the serenity prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

If the mention of God makes you uncomfortable, try the Buddhist version:

If there’s a remedy when trouble strikes,
What reason is there for dejection?
And if there is no help for it,
What use is there in being glum?
 

Or the Mother Goose version:

For every ailment under the sun
There is a remedy, or there is none;
If there be one, try to find it;
If there be none, never mind it.
 

Moving on…

The serenity prayer is popular in the Alcoholics Anonymous program and other 12 step programs. Probably because the first step in most of these programs is realizing that there are some things you cannot control, whether it’s an addiction or compulsion.

It helps to realize that some things are out of your control

I heard the mantra early on in my life and I’m now realizing that it shapes how I approach my problems. So, how to approach problems using the ideas behind the serenity prayer?

  1. Evaluate a situation
  2. Determine whether the situation can be fixed
  3. If the situation can be fixed, attempt to do so
  4. If it cannot, move on

I apply these principles to not just dating or blogging, but to my entire life.

If you want to find happiness you can apply it throughout your life.

So what causes the most problems or stress in your life? According to a few web searches the top ten reasons that people stress out are:

1. Divorce / breakup
2. Bereavement
3. Losing job
4. Wedding planning
5. Work
6. Kids / Family
7. Debt
8. Commuting
9. Studying for exams
10. Pregnancy

Well some of these you can change and some of these you cannot. You can’t change the fact that you’ve been through a breakup, lost a loved one, lost a job, etc. but how you react to these things is up to you.

You can’t turn back time but you can change how you react to the things that bother you. If you’re stressing out about things that can be changed through making some changes in your life or through hard work, maybe it’s time to make those changes.

If the things that are stressing you out cannot be changed, well honestly, you need to make a decision. Do I continue stressing out about these things or do I get help?

I can say without a doubt that talking to someoneabout the things that stress you out doesn’t hurt at all. A professional is ideal, but friends are a good cheap substitute. You’d be surprised how great it is to talk through your problems.

I may espouse the whole Tao of Indifference but I just want to say that it takes some work to be indifferent about the small stuff.

Part of that work takes understanding evaluating  your problems, determining if then can be solved, working to fix them, or learning to accept them.

Good Luck out there

Your Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s