Yesterday I had two main plans for my birthday, to take a walk down the river and to get sushi for dinner. Yet I awoke to it chucking down rain and discovered later that Inverness’s only sushi take away was still shut for their Christmas break.
This could have been a recipe for disaster but I’ve been reading a lot about Stoicism lately and one of their main lessons for happiness is to not worry about anything that is out of your control. You control your thoughts and your actions, nothing else.
I don’t control the weather so instead of walking down the river went to my favourite cafe’s. Likewise, I don’t control the owners of the sushi restaurant and am sure they needed a Christmas break as much as I did so will happily wait until they reopen to enjoy my feast.
It’s a hard lesson to remember and practise especially when it feels like mysterious forces are conspiring against you in a string of bad luck, but it’s always true. If something is out of your control you can’t change it and will waste limitless energy trying to do so.
Instead, you can focus on your reaction to the changing circumstances and what you are going to do about it.