Happiness and What You Can and Can’t Control

You know that feeling like you’re banging your head against a wall?  We’ve all hit that point of frustration where we wish we could just wave a wand to make it go away.  It comes from trying to control something we’re not actually in control of.  You’re in a debate about something you feel passionate about and the other person is being really stubborn.  You’re trying to make someone like you but they’re somehow immune to your charms.  You want your spouse to follow through with that onerous chore and they just won’t do it. SO FRUSTRATING!  Until you remember… there are only two things we are (largely) in control of: how we think and how we act.  We can’t control how others think, act, or feel (in fact, we can’t even control how we feel – if we could, we wouldn’t struggle with emotions, we’d just change them.  We can, however, adjust our emotions through how we think and behave).  Don’t dismiss how influential you can be on others’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, but remember influence isn’t control.  Next time you feel like banging your head against the wall recognize that you’ve slipped into believing you can control something you can’t.  Stop, step back, and remember what you can control – how you think about this and how you respond to it. Let other people control themselves.  Like magic, that frustration will immediately melt away and you can get back to being happy.