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Can and Cannot – and Dealing with the Difference

 

You can take steps so that you are not late for catching a crucial flight.

You cannot do anything about a railway strike creating a perfect storm of M25 traffic hell on an already chokka Monday morning.

You can book a taxi allowing a suitable buffer of spare time.

You cannot do anything to stop the taxi arriving 45 minutes late.

There are always things that you can control, and things you cannot. It makes sense to know the difference and to act appropriately.

There is no point blaming and raging at things beyond your control (enormous traffic jams) or things that are unchangeable (contrite, tardy taxi driver). But nor should you exculpate yourself for blame for mistakes that were in your control.

Make stuff happen when you can.

Sit back calmly and accept the world* when there is nothing that you can do.

Strive, in other words, for “the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

(* – Writing loosely metaphorical blog posts on your phone is one way to help your mind deal with totally stationary traffic, a fast-ticking clock, and a plane that ain’t gonna wait for you… 😉)

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  1. Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can
    – Arthur Ashe

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