“True happiness requires you to focus on the things you can change, and let go of the things you can’t, .”30 Days Challenge
We all have a long list of dreams, hopes, and goals. Things we want to achieve in life. Things that we want to change about our life. A lot of what we want to change in our lives is achievable, but there are some things that are impossible to change.
It is so important that when you think about your future that you focus on the things that you can change, as opposed to what you can’t. Because this will cause you to neglect the things that you actually have power over.
Remember, it is always possible to bring about tangible changes in your life, even if it seems like everything is going wrong. But real change is made by focusing on what you can change in your life, and making those changes one step at a time!
Why is it important to focus on the things you can change?
Worrying about what you can’t change uses up valuable time and energy. Think about it; focusing on something outside of your reach just ends up taking your focus away from what you actually have power over. This is not helpful because there are always things you can do to make tangible changes in your life. And when your attention is on the things that you cant change, you have no time or energy left for things that you can.
Why It can be difficult to focus on what you can change
Ask any psychologist, and they’ll tell you that the neurons in our brains love solving problems. so much so that our brain releases a feel-good chemical called dopamine each time we solve a problem.
Every time we think about something that we do not have control over, our brain takes it as a challenge and searches for ways to solve the problem.
But because it is something that can not be changed, our brain gets stuck in a loop and spends more energy trying to fix the problem. That’s why it takes discipline and hard work to shift our attention to things that we can change.
The difference between things you can change and the things you can’t
The things you can change are usually your own actions and behavior. You can’t change what others do or say, but you are always in control of how you react to them. Likewise, there are some things that are beyond our control, but there are always actions we can take to make the best of a difficult situation.
How to focus on things that you can change
Focusing on the things you can change requires that you differentiate between what you can change, and what you can’t and then deliberately shift your attention.
Step 1: Identify all the things in your life that you would like to change
To get started, you can think about what you want from your life and what your values are. Values are what we think is important and we make decisions according to them. If we prioritize our values and use them as a guide in our lives, we will find it easier to make decisions and take action because we will be working in line with what we believe in.
Alternatively, you can also look at all the areas of your life that you are not happy with and list them out. Write down anything that causes you to stress, or makes you upset or unhappy. Make sure to include anything that you find yourself regularly worrying about.
We have step-by-step instructions for you to create your own personal growth plan if you’re interested!
Step 2: For each area write down what you can change in that area
For each item, you would like to change write down whether or not you have any control over the item. If there is something you can do to bring about change, then write down what exactly it is you can do.
For instance, let’s say that you’re feeling stressed about the fact that you have to find a job. You might feel like your life is spinning out of control because you don’t know how to find a job. But there are actually some things that you can do to change this. You can go on LinkedIn, look at websites with jobs, or even start searching for jobs on Craigslist. On the other hand, you can’t change
Step 3: For each area write down what you can not change
As much as we want control over our lives, there are only certain things we can change. Look at your list, and think about whether you would like to change things that are out of your control. Write them down, so that when you think about them you are aware that you cannot control them.
Step 4: Start taking small but tangible steps on your list
Instead of worrying about things that are out of your control, you have to take small steps towards the direction you want to go. Don’t forget though, consistency is key. You can’t do something for three days and expect your life to change. The best way to get results quickly with making changes in your life is by taking consistent action over a period of time. Don’t worry about whether or not your actions have immediate results. Remember ultimately you have no control over it anyway.
Step 5: Each time you worry take a look at your list
Each time you worry or stress about something on your list, add it to your list and evaluate whether or not it is something you have control over. If it is not something you can control, remind yourself that. And to distract your mind from thinking about it, do one thing from your list that you do have control over. And to calm yourself down take a few deep breaths. So for instance if you are worried that you did not interview well, remind yourself that your past actions are not something you can change. Instead add improved interview skills to your list, or do something else on your list that you can do immediately to bring about change in your life.
Step 6: Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is the act of focusing on the present, without judging it. It is about treating every moment as your last and living each one to its fullest potential. If you’re feeling tense or stressed out about something that you can not change, take a few minutes for yourself and just focus on your breathing. You’ll feel more relaxed in just a few minutes!
By practicing mindfulness, you’ll learn to focus on what is happening around you in the present. That means you’ll be less likely to think about other stresses and worries. Most importantly it’ll stop you from thinking about your past and future, about other people’s opinions, and things that are none of your business. You’ll begin living in the moment, dealing with what is happening around you without judgment, criticism, or fear.
Most important mindfulness teaches you how to redirect your attention to what you want to focus on. This will enable you to refocus your attention from the things you can’t change to the things you can.
What are some things that you can change in your life right now:
Positivity: Change your attitude and be more positive. The way you think influences how you feel. Make a conscious effort to think about things that make you happy and take an optimistic outlook on life.
Diet: What’s going into your body affects how you feel, so don’t eat foods that make you sluggish or cranky. Eat foods that are high in fiber and protein to keep yourself feeling energized and satisfied for longer periods of time.
Exercise: Exercising gives your body natural endorphins-or “feel-good” hormones-that make us happier and less likely to dwell on negative thoughts or feelings.
How you react to situations: You can’t control how other people behave, but you can control how you react to their behavior. Once you accept this you will stop wasting time by focusing on their behavior, and start reacting in ways that make you happier.
What are some things that you can not change
Who your parents are: You can choose how you behave around your parents and your family, but you can’t change who they are, the way they act, or how they treat you. And it’s pointless to try
How other people behave: We often try to change the way other people act, but it’s completely pointless. No amount of nagging, lecturing, or explaining will make someone behave differently. We may have some influence but only they can change themselves.
The past: The past will always be fixed in stone. One can not change what has already happened, and it is pointless to dwell on things that cannot be changed.
Outcomes of our actions: We can take specific actions which improve the chances of a positive outcome. But we can not control what actually happens. You can study hard, but you can not control what grade you get, or whether or not you get a specific job. So instead of focusing on the outcome itself, focus on changing your behavior.
Natural Disasters: These events, such as storms and earthquakes, are typically difficult or impossible to prevent.
It’s time to take control of your life by focusing on the things you can change.
It is important to remember that every little thing counts. Even if it doesn’t seem like it makes a difference or is worth doing, try working on changing one small thing in your day. When you work hard and make an effort to make things happen you’ll find your life circumstances will start changing. The process may be slow but it will happen
And remember that no matter what happens, there are definitely others who have had similar experiences- people who are able to help you grow and learn from your mistakes. Get involved with communities where you can find people who are experiencing the same issues you are or check out organizations dedicated to certain causes- they can offer support and resources for anyone looking for them.
You can do it
Once you commit yourself to personal growth, you’ll develop an attitude that will enable you to work hard and move forward in life in a productive manner. You will have more hope, peace, and happiness than you ever did before. Be proud of the progress that we’ve made and don’t give up because things are tough! Keep going and remember that there’s always someone who has it worse than us, so be grateful for what we have