Our Moral Compass: There Is Only One Thing You Can Control

“You have power over your mind-not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

-Marcus Aurelius

     Winning the lottery. Another person cuts you off while you are driving your car. It rains on the day of the big game. A loved one survives a horrific car crash and is expected to make a full recovery.  Each and every day events are occurring and affecting our lives: some of them good and some that are not. We need to remember that no matter how hard we try we can never control outside events. We can only control ourselves and our reactions to those events.

This seems easy to do but is often forgotten especially when times become tough. Think about it. When things are happening that are going well for you, you are “in the zone” and feel like you can take on the world. No one is blamed for your successes and in your own mind, you may be thinking, that you have made this great thing that has happened to you possible. But when the tables are turned and it doesn’t go your way, what do we have the tendency to do? Blame someone or something for why something went wrong. We react towards outside factors like we had any control of them from the beginning, but in reality we need to realize that we never ever had control of that event and it’s outcome. We can’t control the weather. We can’t control the reaction of the crowd during a presentation we give. We can only control ourselves. We can only control our reactions, our mindset and “our next moves” so to speak, are our choice and our choice alone. No one else’s.

We need to stop trying to find blame on someone or something when things do not go the way we planned it to happen. If we instead already determine in our minds, our reactions to how a situation may turn out, either good or bad, then we can become more prepared to face whatever may come before us. At the end of the day, our reactions, will not only affect us, but those around us and quite possibly future events. We need to be are of this in the moment, as it is occurring and not after the fact when we react in a less than desired way because then it will be too late. Like I have always said to my students, if it’s to be it’s up to me.

What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards self management in your own life?

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