Changing Perceptions: Understanding What We Can Control In Life
Differentiating what one can change and what one cannot control in life can be invaluable for some people. As obvious as it sounds, there is no point in trying to change what is outside of one’s control.
However, that shouldn’t always be the case.
Although we can’t control everything, we still have the power to change how things can affect us. And it starts with changing perceptions.
Why We Should Do This
A full understanding of the things that are out of our control gives us a greater sense of power and authority over our own lives. Accepting our inability to influence many external events allows us to focus our time on the things we can change.
For example, we cannot change our past but we can certainly change our future by influencing the present. We always have the choice to focus on the parts of our lives that can make us happier. A lot of people fail to realize this and they get pushed to a series of disappointments trying to chase things outside their control.
Although there are things in our lives that we don’t have control over, we can always work on how we think of them. How we react to a situation is ultimately our choice. One can choose his own perception of a certain event.
Take, for example, traffic.
We can’t always control the traffic in front of us but we can choose how we’ll react to it. We can shout and argue or stay calm and collected.
“Reality doesn’t bite, rather our perception of reality bites” – Anthony J.D’Angelo
In essence, there are still some controllable aspects to the things we consider uncontrollable. Once you know what they are, you’ll have more power, freedom, and clarity.
We have our own mind and its power is endless. Our choices can never be taken away from us.
How You Can Start
You can start off by identifying which areas of your life are outside and inside of your control. By differentiating them, it will give you more clarity.
Once you know the things that you don’t have too much control over, examine your feelings about them. If you realize that you are unhappy, try to start changing perceptions. You’ll be surprised at how much it can improve your life.
A common example is the rain. We cannot change the weather; it is external to us. If it rains, we should let go of any negative emotion and simply accept that we cannot do anything about it. We can, however, change our perception of it. We can either complain and be miserable, or we can choose to be strong about it and see it in a positive manner. Rain today will allow us to appreciate sunny weather tomorrow. Also, rain in itself can be a pleasurable thing. There is no point building up negative energy within you for things which are not in your control.
1. We will live a happier life. Once we realize that most of the things that don’t make us happy are outside of our control, we can easily start changing perceptions.
For example, when we know that we can’t force certain people to agree with us all the time, we can accept that they won’t agree and therefore be at peace with it.
2. We will live a life feeling more powerful. Although we can’t win all battles, there are still things in our lives that can be controlled. We just have to realize that we have an advantage over them.
3. We will live a life with greater clarity and focus. The more we understand that it is our choices that shape us, we’ll be able to have a better understanding of the people around us.
4. It will motivate us. Because we now have a greater sense of control, we can start working harder towards the goals that truly matter to us.
We shouldn’t let outside events get in the way of pursuing our dreams. Instead, we should focus more on the things we have more control over, like changing perceptions and choices.
These tips will take time and effort before they can completely change your thought process. The positives, however, far outweigh the negatives of inaction so just keep trying.
Don’t try to change what you can’t control. Instead, start changing your perceptions and you can change your reality.