In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the three steps to the art of living, overcoming obstacles, and actually feeling in control of your life.
First a quick update:
The Breakup Test
Are you heartbroken, angry, lost, lonely, confused, depressed, hung up, or pining over your ex? Do you know how your ex is truly affecting you and do you want to benefit from personalized advice, action steps and revelations? Take my free breakup test and get your own personalized report.
4 Reasons Men Fear Commitment
Women often comment to me that they are confused about the reasons that men they have encountered are commitment-phobic and why so many more men are refusing to commit to relationships or marriage. Watch my video
Now, let’s talk about the three steps to the art of living, overcoming obstacles, and actually feeling in control of your life.
Stoic philosophy is built on the foundation that there are things within your control, and things outside of your control, and, you should only place your focus on the things you can control, and willingly accept the things you can’t control.
The only thing within your control is your mind – your thoughts which, will determine your feelings & emotions, and thus your actions and results.
This is akin to the modern-day Serenity Prayer: “God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
“The following little reminder sums up the three most essential parts of Stoic philosophy worth carrying with you every day, into every decision:
Control your perceptions.
Direct your actions properly.
Willingly accept what’s outside your control.”
The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living, By Ryan Holiday, Stephen Hanselman
Perception is the way that you see and judge something, and thus the meaning that you give to it. Nothing really has meaning except that to which you give it. The way you see an event and the meaning you give to it can empower or debilitate you. When something does not go your way or there is a disappointment, how do you see it; what meaning do you give to it? Will it be the end for you or the beginning of something else? Will you be a victim (learned helplessness) or will you find a way through the obstacle? Will you learn from the failure, and triumph in spite of, and because of, the obstacles in your path?
How do you see people and your life? Do you believe that it is your job to change the people in your life?
Remember the only thing that you can control is your mind – your thoughts and it is your thoughts that determine your perception. You can change the way you choose to see it. What were once hardships or impossible can be reevaluated and broken down; massive walls can be reduced into smaller, scalable hurdles. If you believe that this principle is fluffy, read the story about James Stockdale and what he overcame.
Action is the way that you will respond to the event.
Will you simply react with intense, negative emotion (fear, jealousy, anxiety, greed, revenge, etc.) or with conscious and deliberate action that is in alignment with your goals and your best interest?
Will is your inner power.
The four virtues in Stoicism are temperance, courage, justice and wisdom. Temperance is will – the ability to control oneself or to take deliberate action – even in the face of challenges. Will is your inner power – the control you exert over yourself: the ability to delay gratification and resist temptation; “the capacity to override an unwanted thought, feeling or impulse; the ability to employ a ‘cool’ cognitive system of behavior rather than a ‘hot’ emotional system.”
https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/willpower Will incorporates perseverance – when you choose to persist in the pursuit of something despite difficulties and delayed success. Perseverance is not giving up.
“Obstacles are not only to be expected but embraced. These obstacles are actually opportunities to test ourselves, to try new things, and, ultimately, to triumph.” – Ryan Holiday
Think about the things which are outside of your control – family, coworkers, people in general, people’s opinions, people’s responses to you, the weather, illness, accidents, and so forth. Now think about the energy and resources that you choose to devote to trying to control those things and people, rather than focusing on the way you will choose to respond. What is the outcome of all of the energy that you devote to trying to change the things and people outside your control? Zero. What is the outcome for you mentally, emotionally and physically? Stress, insomnia, anger, anxiety, panic attacks, victimhood, helplessness, hopelessness, self-judgment and loathing, fatigue, digestive ailments, and so forth.
When you choose to willingly accept that which is outside of your control and, place your energy and focus on yourself – your thoughts and actions – then you are more likely to experience serenity and stability and be more effective in life. The irony is that by letting go of control of the things you have no power over, you inevitably feel more in control of your life.
As I recently shared in a training to Shell Oil Company, the way you perceive occurrences in life will determine your ability to deal with life and thus the final outcome; will you choose to see things as stressful, as a threat or will you see them as a challenge?
Remember, you get to decide; you are in control of your mind and thoughts!
If you need help to overcome anxiety, twisted thinking or the desire to control everything, book a one-on-one session with me.
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.