The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control.
Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own . . .
- Epictetus, (50-138), Discourses.
The single most important practice in Stoic philosophy is differentiating between what we can change and what we can’t. What we have influence over and what we do not.
A flight is delayed because of weather- no amount of yelling at an airline representative will end a storm. No amount of wishing will make you taller or shorter or born in a different country. No matter how hard you try, you can’t make someone like you.
And on top of that, time spent hurling yourself at these immovable objects is time not spent on the things we can change.
The recovery community practices something called the Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Addicts cannot change the abuse suffered in childhood. They cannot undo the choices they have made or the hurt they have caused. But they can change the future - through the power they have in the present moment. As Epictetus said, they can control the choices they make right now.
Focus on what you can control and let go of the rest. A whole book about Focus was written by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. Great read and highly recommended.
What's Your ONE Thing?
People are using this simple, powerful concept to focus on what matters most in their personal and work lives. Companies are helping their employees be more productive with study groups, training, and coaching. Sales teams are boosting sales. Churches are conducting classes and recommending for their members.
By focusing their energy on one thing at a time people are living more rewarding lives by building their careers, strengthening their finances, losing weight and getting in shape, deepening their faith, and nurturing stronger marriages and personal relationships.
You Want Less
You want fewer distractions and less on your plate. The daily barrage of e-mails, texts, tweets, messages, and meetings distract you and stress you out. The simultaneous demands of work and family are taking a toll. And what's the cost? Second-rate work, missed deadlines, smaller paychecks, fewer promotions--and lots of stress.
And You Want More
You want more productivity from your work. More income for a better lifestyle. You want more satisfaction from life, and more time for yourself, your family, and your friends.
Now You Can Have Both - Less and More
In The ONE Thing, you'll learn to:
- Cut through the clutter.
- Achieve better results in less time.
- Build momentum toward your goal.
- Dial down the stress.
- Overcome that overwhelmed feeling.
- Revive your energy.
- Stay on track.
- Master what matters to you.
The ONE Thing delivers extraordinary results in every area of your life--work, personal, family, and spiritual.
What's Your ONE Thing?