We’re only strong in what we can control

Last video, I talked about this decision, this division, of everything that’s going on into things we can control and things we cannot control.
Just like the ancient Stoics were teaching 2000 years ago, it seems to be one of the most vital, central things that we can do to have a good mindset on things: just be clear about what are the things that we can actually influence.
This seems like it’s one of the easiest ways to be unhappy, frustrated, and miserable, is to just really strongly be wishing that things were different, things that we cannot control, wishing them to be different.
And it’s such a waste of our energy to put all our energy into things that we can’t actually change.
So this is today continuing that idea, just thinking about the feeling that comes out of this.
I just spent an hour reading about various news, and I just felt this feeling of weakness that came over me as my mind was taken out of my own life and what I can do and placed into this concern about the overall world situation and what’s gonna happen next.
And especially, even less usefully then this concern about what’s going on elsewhere in the world, is this idea of the future, being concerned about what might happen in the future.
Because it seems that with the lockdown measures that are taking place are going to have very significant impacts on the world over many months and years.
And I don’t know how severe, but they’re certainly going to be significant, and I can’t predict what is going to happen.
I don’t know how bad it will get, and in what ways.
I feel that it will be getting bad, but then how bad? You can imagine anything from, you know, a little bit of a tough time that we bounce back, and all the way through to, you know, severe unrest and disorder, and all the way through to total socio-economic disintegration.
I mean, any of those things are possible, and, you know, we can spend so much time considering which is more likely, and where are things likely to fall, where are there likely to be problems, and it’s just my mind is taken out of my own life, my own domain that I can control, and just became this powerless spectator, just sitting in observation and trying to understand what’s going on in the world.
And this seems like a useful thing to do to a very limited degree, that of course, you want to get a picture of the world situation that in some way helps to inform our decisions.
But I noticed how, by going too far into this, spending too much time on this, I just felt this sense of weakness, that I can’t do anything.
I’m just sitting here as a spectator, and I’m just getting pleasure from the feeling that I’m investigating.
It’s that detective feeling.
I love investigating a mystery, and what’s going on and what will happen is of course a mystery.
So it’s like the only pleasure I can get is from investigating what might happen, trying to get a better picture of the world situation, and then that makes me feel good.
I guess it makes me feel smart like “Oh, yeah, I know what’s going on.
I can see things that other people can’t see.
Aren’t I clever?” And that’s really the best pleasure that one can get when living outside one’s control.
When you live for things that you can’t control, when your mind is focused on things outside control, then it does seem like the best you can do is just to be a clever know-it-all, who, you know, has things figured out.
They’re not doing anything about it.
You just have it figured out, and that’s the best you can do.
But clearly this is not an ideal way to operate, and makes me think of the contrast between this kind of weak observer from outside to the feeling that we can have when we are fully engaged in our own lives, when we are making actions that actually make change in our own lives.
It may be influencing the people around us through our own actions.
Often it’s very small things.
You could, say, get a good day’s work done, exercise, clean your home, very simple things.
Treat people the way that you believe is good.
And simple, simple things, simple little things that we can do on our own that actually make a real difference in our lives.
And that leads to this opposite feeling, the opposite of the detached observer who is powerless.
You are right in the middle, and you are the king or queen of your own situation.
This is your domain.
You can make choices and take actions within that domain, and that seems to be where we can really be effective.
So as much as really can’t get completely away from the news and observing the overall world situation, I find it very helpful to always just bring things back to “What can I do today?”

#dowhatyoucan #inyourcontrol #yourdomain

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