What to Do When Things Are Beyond Your Control

Life is not fair, just in case, you haven’t learned that out by now.  We all understand that, but often we act like it should be.  We will always find other people with more talent in a certain area, better looks, a better family, more advantages, etc.  You will face situations your entire life where you got a teacher that no one wants, the ref made a bad call, or it rained on your special event.

The key is to not make yourself a victim.  We all know people like that.  Something bad happened to them years ago, yet they have never seem to have gotten over it.  On the other hand, sometimes we have seen people go through very difficult circumstances and have come out with such a positive perspective.  People like Bethany Hamilton, who while surfing as a kid, had her arm bitten off by a shark. I listened to her the other day on a podcast; she has such a great outlook on life and has found ways to thrive despite her challenges.

You are responsible for your life.  Many things you can directly work to improve-your relationships, your achievements, your emotions, your health, and you should.  But how do you handle the more difficult things that seem like they are out of your control?  First of all, you have to take control of your thoughts-don’t dwell on the problem and don’t complain to all your friends about it. It’s okay to acknowledge the disappointment and grieve what you lost, but don’t get stuck there! Definitely, don’t blame someone else or something else – that never gets you in the state of mind to solve the challenge.

What Would Frodo Do?

  Ask yourself what good can I find in this situation, how will this help me to become a better person, is there more than one way to solve this problem?  Your teachers, bosses, and leaders will be more willing to work with you if you come to them, not with a complaining attitude, but with an attitude of “I am struggling with this, but I really want to find a solution and make it better.”

Think about every great book or movie. Does it tell the story of someone who’s life was easy and they got everything they wanted with no effort? No, the stories that change us are the ones where someone came up against a challenge and made it through. Things may not have turned out exactly the way they wanted, they may have had to experience loss or defeat, but they never quit. It is in the challenges that we grow the most as people, not in the easy times.

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