Our Moral Compass: What’s In Our Control

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

-Jon Kabat-Zinn

I don’t know about you but one of the most peaceful and calming places I can think of is the beach. Just sitting on a blanket and watching the waves form and come crashing down brings a sense of true tranquility for me, especially the sound of it. The waves are a constant. One following the other. Some waves are very small while others are very large. I often think of fond memories I had going to the beach and trying to maintain my balance (much like the Karate Kid) as each wave approached. Sometimes I would maintain that balance and at others times I came crashing down along with that wave. But not matter what, each time I got knocked down, I got back up.

American professor and creator of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society Jin Kabat-Zinn reminds us in today’s quote that although we cannot stop the waves, we can learn to surf. Life and the different things that happen in it are constantly in motion. We face life’s waves each and every day. Some of our experiences are manageable; those tiny waves that we are able to maintain our balance and push through. Then there are other experiences that really challenge our balance to maintain things and we sometimes falter; those are those big waves of life we face from time to time.

The thing is this though: although sometimes life may knock us down we learn from the experience and the next time that similar wave or life experience comes our way, we adjust our balance and brace ourselves better for that impact to push through and overcome. We in a sense pivot. Life is full of us pivoting; even when we don’t want to or feel like it. The more we learn to do so, the more we learn about ourselves. Remember: we may not ever be able to stop the waves of life but we can make the necessary adjustments and learn to surf them. It’s all about making the decision to do so.

What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards managing yourself better and making responsible decisions?

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