The Serenity Prayer
God, grant me the serenity to Accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to Change the things I can,
And Wisdom to know the difference.
(Quote: Serenity Prayer/Poem/Profound Verse – Reinhold Niebuhr)
The Serenity Prayer/Poem/Profound Verse contains some simple and basic rules of life. It helps us to decide where to place our energy and our focus. Its simplicity is important so as to better navigate the complexities of everyday life.
It is also the reason why I refer to the 7 Elements of the Wellness Wheel (Family, Fun, Finance, Leadership, Emotional & Physical health) – so that we can be more easily aware of what elements need our focus, attention or action.
We face “fights” every day – especially on our spiritual or character plane – that in many ways parallel the reality and rules of physical fighting.
And there are two things a fighter simply has to be able to do if getting hit (and every fighter will get hit). And that is how to “take a hit” in everyday life.
- The first need is to stay calm. Anger or frustrations ensure we forget our embedded habits and routines and we could start fighting like a schoolyard kid. If things are taken personally, vital energy will be lost, because we won’t be able to control our breathing and heart rate. Fists, words, offensive acts might ensure. So there is a vital need is to stay focused on our game, our goals, our techniques and our instincts. The person punching, yelling or deriding us cannot be allowed to dictate our interior state. A great fighter isn’t in the ring or on the mat in “fight mode” as much as in the “think mode.” A great fighter is a strategist. Not a scrapper.
- Then we need to do what’s called “rolling with the punches.” If we stand there like a tree and return the anger, the abuse or derision we get cut down and lose control. However we can decide to be calm and use reason. We can remain supple to greatly reduce the negative impact by accessing the Serenity Prayer. We can then better roll with the punches instead of throwing them if we determine what we can control and what we just cannot.
In everyday life, we are going to get hit! Sometimes it’s because people are acting cruelly. Other times, they’re just unaware that they’re offering offence. We can’t control that. But we can control if we stay calm and not taking every blow and staying focused on fighting our best fight.
A basic Question to ask: What battle is draining me of energy right now?
Someone’s going to make us angry today or upset us in some way. Maybe, we have a right to engage the person by correcting them, shouting back on the freeway, or lashing out online. Maybe, we even think we should engage that person. There are times we should.
Or it could be that a person has wronged us, and interiorly we are thinking of them every day—while they are getting on with their own lives life and completely oblivious to our “hurts”.
Today let it go. Don’t respond. And don’t think about it. Divert your thinking to something else until the thought of what’s bugging you fades into the background. Use your energy to achieve what you need or want to do. You don’t need to be in “fight mode” but in a “calm and focused mode” – so as to make the best decisions.
Not only because it is best for you – but because you don’t need the affirmation or distraction of others to stay true to the life you were born to live.
Decide not live distracted. Decide to roll with the punches and to let the things you cannot change – GO!
Don’t take their Bait – find the Wisdom to accept what you cannot change and find the Courage to improve what you can.
Design your Own Good Life – Don’t allow others to rob you of your Goodness, your Greatness or your Purpose in Life.
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