Control What You Can Control

I made a quick trip to the grocery story to pick up food for the week right before lunch and am happy to have a fully-stocked fridge.

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See all those bags? I managed to bring them inside in only one trip! I have a weird aversion to making two trips to and from the car with groceries and will nearly throw out my back trying to bring everything in at once.

One trip, baby!

Lunch

I am killing my goal of consuming five servings of fruits and vegetables today. Four down!

Today’s lunch featured a tuna salad wrap with arugula and tomato slices and roasted green beans on the side.

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Loving all the fresh produce!

I also had a small bowl of ricotta cheese topped with a sliced plum, slivered almonds and pumpkin pie spice on the side.

ricotta plums almonds

And now for a little book talk!

I finished reading Open yesterday and have one major thing to discuss that I took away from the book, so let’s get to it!

Control What You Can Control

Control what you can control.

control what you can control
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What a totally simple yet incredibly difficult concept to grasp.

How much time do we spend freaking out about things that are completely outside of our control? How many hours do we waste worrying about what that nasty coworker is going to say today? How many “what ifs” do we put ourselves through day in and day out, worrying about the worst possible outcomes?

On Saturday as I was reading Andre Agassi’s biography, Open, I found myself rereading one passage over and over again. It detailed a conversation between Agassi and his trainer, Gil.

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Agassi just finished reading an article about himself in a New York newspaper. The article tore him apart and said Agassi “simply isn’t a champion,” and caused him to spiral into a series of self-doubt.

“What if he’s right?” Agassi questions about the author’s statement.

“What if I never win this tournament? What if I always look back on this moment with regret?”

His trainer sees Agassi’s reaction to the article and nonchalantly says, “Control what you can control.”

control

I dog-eared the page and went back and read it again yesterday after I finished the book.

Rather than put time, energy and effort into worrying about things that are so completely out of our control, imagine how much better off we’d be if we poured all of that energy into something that we can control. Something positive. Something that will actually get us somewhere.

I remember when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I felt completely helpless and utterly out of control. I worried. I cried.

And then I did something.

My sister and I poured time and energy into doing things for my mom to make her journey easier. We made her a chemo countdown calendar where she could mark a big, victorious “X” on the days where she received chemotherapy treatment after she returned home. We reached out to friends and relatives and put together a recipe book complete with kind notes from the people who love her most.

Did this help us gain control over the cancer my mom was fighting? Absolutely not. But it did make us feel like we were doing something and had a little bit of control over my mom’s happiness.

There are things that affect us every day that are out of our control and it is so incredibly hard not to dwell on them and worry non-stop. I loved the simple thought of controlling what we can control and focusing on making the changes we can make to improve our lives without dwelling on the issues outside of our control.

So simple, yet so hard.

Question of the Afternoon

  • What is something completely out of your control that you’ve spent too much time worrying about lately?

Comments

  1. says

    Hahah — i totally will NOT make two trips to and from the car. I have 3 reusable bags and if they start to fill up to quickly while I am at the grocery store, I know I am buying to many groceries, because 3 bags full is the normal amount of what I buy on a weekly basis.

    I can relate to the “control what you can control” quote. I am such a routine person and I am trying to learn that when things go off track, you just have to go with it.

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  2. Christina says

    LOVE this quote. I’m having a hard time with coworkers at the moment and I just have to understand that I cannot dictate what they will or will not to. I can only change how I react. Tough thing to do.

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