We only have so much time, energy, and attention. So how do we decide where to place our focus?
To figure out the answer to that question, I like to ask myself two other questions:
1- Does it matter?
2- Can I control it?
Unless the answer is yes on both counts, you can stop thinking about it. Because if it doesn’t matter, then who cares; and if you can’t control it, then why worry about it?
For me, the list of things I can stop thinking about includes:
1- Whether my children get into college or not (because I can’t control it).
2- Whether I could have saved $5 on groceries by going to a different store (because it doesn’t matter).
3- Whether the stock market is in flux right now (because I can’t control it).
4- That guy who cut me off in traffic (because it doesn’t matter).
As I drive home from work not thinking about any of those things, I am suddenly freed up to think about things I can control and that do matter. For example:
1- How I treat my children, regardless of whether college is a good fit for them or not.
2- How I can get my shopping to align with my values.
3- How I behave when stock market fluctuations happen.
4- Learning to count to 10, taking a deep breath, and letting go when other drivers act like jerks.
Just imagine what might happen if you quit worrying about things you have no control over and quit obsessing over things that don’t matter.
Where else might you be able to invest that extra time, energy, and attention?
P.S. As always, if you want to use this sketch, you can buy it here.
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