Some things are in my control …

Epictetus

Epictetus

“Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our actions. The things in our control are by nature free, unrestrained, unhindered; but those not in our control are weak, slavish, restrained, belonging to others. Remember, then, that if you suppose that things which are slavish by nature are also free, and that what belongs to others is your own, then you will be hindered. You will lament, you will be disturbed, and you will find fault both with gods and men. But if you suppose that only to be your own which is your own, and what belongs to others such as it really is, then no one will ever compel you or restrain you. Further, you will find fault with no one or accuse no one. You will do nothing against your will. No one will hurt you, you will have no enemies, and you not be harmed.”
― Epictetus, Enchiridion and Selections from the Discourses

I thought it would be worthwhile to look more closely at what things are, and are not, in my control.

Things in my controlThings not in my control
Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Such as:
My perspective and opinions
How I treat other people
How I respond to how other people treat me
What hobbies and interests I choose to pursue
How much exercise I do
What I eat and drink
How I wear my hair, makeup, and clothes
How I spend and/or invest my savings and my time
What I study, read, watch or listen to
What I choose to do in my garden
How generous or not I am with my possessions and time
Who I choose to spend my time with  
What values I have
Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our actions.
Such as:
Getting older
Other people and their opinions of me
Whether other people agree with me or not
Whether other people listen to me or not
Whether other people understand me or not
Actions by other people
The weather
My genetic code
The stock markets
Other peoples’ actions
Death and illness
Disasters such as pandemics, bush fires, floods etc.
Wars  
The past and the future

Tools to boost self esteem

Recently I wrote about dealing with negative feelings. It helps to have some tools or ideas to counteract them when they hit with full force. I developed this acronym a while ago and try to memorise it when I need some positive input. It is an acronym for the word CONFIDENCE and reminds me of what I am capable of or what I need to do to feel more confident.

C is for capable – I have the basic knowledge to do the task

O is for often – when I do something often I become more confident in my abilities.

N is for now – I need to focus on NOW and the task at hand.

F is for follow – I can follow instructions and directions rather than just guessing what is required.

I is for interest – if I have a genuine interest in what I am doing I am more likely to do it well.

D is for determination – if I am really determined to succeed, chances are that I will.

E is for elements –  I can break a task down to its smaller components and give full attention to each part.

N is for new – I need to be open-minded and curious about learning new tasks and that will get me there in the end.

C is for cheerfulness – if I approach the task with a cheerful attitude and be friendly to those around me the job will seem a lot easier.

E is for effort – putting in an effort and a bit of hard work can produce good results.

If I experience self-doubt I try to recall the above suggestions however it doesn’t really matter if I can’t remember them because I just look for another positive word beginning with the same letter.

It works for me 🙂

I was thinking of a new one today based on the word WIMP. I sometimes accuse myself of being a wimp. How about Warm, Intelligent, Magnificent, Person? Any other suggestions?

life

Health …

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I am thinking about ‘health’ for the past week. Not that I am sick or have any big revelations about it, but I am considering how we deal with whatever our health status is.

Some people make a big deal out of minor ailments and yet some others are silent and brave about serious concerns.

I believe that as we get older, the health system responds to us differently. This is when the doctor responds to your concerns with, “it is normal for that to happen at your age.” They don’t seem quite as enthusiastic about fixing us up as we get older.

Another aspect about health – do we talk about it? When is it appropriate and when is it not?

Should we be proactive and do our own research (via Dr Google) or trust in the knowledge and experience of our health care professionals – or a bit of both?

Then there is the scientific approach to health or the alternative therapies. I lean very much toward the medical model – maybe because Medicare will subsidize me if I see a doctor but I pay the full cost if I see someone who practices natural therapies.

What part does our mind play in our health? I am sure it plays a significant role but can we think ourselves better? I know we can think ourselves sick!

So there you have it – a week’s reflection on health, summed up in less than 300 words 🙂

Hobbies and Interests

18 February 2014 006 (Copy)In 2010 I ceased working full-time and moved to the South West to enjoy the wonderful experience of not having to set the alarm and get up and go to work. Funnily enough, I still wake up early most days even though I don’t set the alarm.

I have been grappling with what best to do with my time now. I have tried a range of things, including self-employment, volunteer work, gardening, blogging and recently I joined a creative writing group.

Through most of my life I have gone along with what others are doing. I think being the youngest of five children means I am used to fitting it with the majority.

It is only now that I realise that I haven’t taken much time to pursue leisure activities that are truly my OWN interests.

Put simply, I don’t know what I want! I am working on it though and have taken some steps in that direction.

My reason for this blog today is to remind people (younger people) to make time to have some interests outside of work so that when it comes to retiring, you can look forward to spending more time doing what you love. Cultivate your interests during your working life so that it provides another avenue for finding satisfaction and fulfillment at that later stage.

Well, that’s my take on it :-). What do others think?

What do you like to talk about?

The idea for this post came from some questions raised by Eric Tonningsen‘s blog Awakening to Awareness.

So, what do you like to talk about? I don’t mean the casual exchanges and polite conversations with people who pass through our lives.

I have a real desire for deep and meaningful conversations – usually in a one on one situation. I like to think about possibilities for our shared future. I search for answers to the questions about why we still go to war knowing the enormous costs – especially to loss of life, property and our shared interests and history.

I also love talking to children aged from about three years old and above. I love the simplicity of how they see the world and I marvel and how much a child can see from such an early age.

It is also good to hear the wisdom of people who have lived a long life without becoming embittered by it. There is so much we can learn from our elders.

People who have hit rock bottom in their lives can also have a great clarity about what is important and how to do it – or at least where to start that journey.

Issues such as euthanasia, the death penalty, the customs and beliefs of other cultures and religions are also stimulating topics. I do not like to argue and very much believe in the philosophy of ‘live and let live’. I can sustain a conversation with someone whose views are totally different than mine and accept that they have the right to believe as they choose. I also hope others will offer me the same respect.

Scientific topics are interesting but my depth of knowledge is limited. I try to keep an open mind. I also  hope the scientists will keep an open mind as well and not defend their ideas for the sake of protecting a point of view. Science itself is evolving and we learn new things each day and sometimes dispose of past beliefs in the process.

I also like to listen to good jokes. I am not very good at telling them though 🙂DSC00512

 

Confidence

Life seems so much easier when we feel confident about what we are doing. Confidence doesn’t guarantee competence but it is a good start. Here are some thoughts about confidence …

C is for capable. I have the basic knowledge to do the task at hand.

O is for often. When I do something often I generally become more confident in my ability.

N is now. I will focus on the task at hand, now, and not try to do tomorrow’s work today.

F is for follow. It may mean following a recipe, some guidance, a style manual, or the instructions in a manual.

I is for interest. If I have a genuine interest in what I am doing, my interest will help me feel more confident.

D is for determination. If I aspire to do well – chances are, I will succeed if I am determined enough.

E is for elements. If I understand the basic elements of the task, I can then tackle them one by one until the task is completed.

N is for new. I am always be open to learning something new. It is ok to acknowledge I haven’t done something before, however, I am willing to learn new things  – in fact, I love to learn how to do new things!

C is for cheerful. If I can approach whatever I am doing with a cheerful attitude, my chances of success are greater.

E is for effort. I need to put in some effort and do the work that is required to the best of my ability.

Put all these together and you cannot help but have the CONFIDENCE to do whatever you need to do.

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Who wants to be a housewife?

There isn’t much talk today about being a housewife. In fact, it is often seen to be an offensive label. How can anyone be a wife of a house, after all? There are attempts to change the image to names such as domestic goddess or similar. Is it what we do when we are not in the paid workforce?

But really … most of us live in houses and most of us like them to be clean and livable. Someone has to do the work, and fair enough if it is shared among the family. We want clean bathrooms, washing done, floors swept and the cupboards stocked with food and supplies.

Why is it that I don’t mind doing domestic tasks for someone else but would rather not do them for myself sometimes. Then there is that regular question – what do you do for a living? I can respond with information about the one day I go out to work and skip the details for the other six days of the week.

Scaling back from full-time work has raised these issues with me, surprisingly in a similar way to when I first left the workforce to start a family. There seems to be some fear that being out of the workforce may cause me to disappear into thin air – to stop existing in a way that is recognised in our culture.

I believe our culture needs to value this role more and recognise the contributions, big and small, of people who are not in mainstream, paid work.

What do you think?

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Torn …

Today I was thinking about the times when we are torn between two people, two job options, a parent and child, to diet or not, two roads …

The more I thought about it I realised that just about every moment we are having to choose which way to go. It is in navigating these choices that makes our journey what it is. It can be a pretty uncomfortable place to be if our loyalties are being tugged in different directions. Especially if you are trying to keep everyone happy :-).

I guess it is one of those Universal feelings we all experience from time to time.

Daily Post: I believe

For today’s prompt, tell us three things that you believe in your heart to be true. Tell us three things you believe in your heart to be false.

TRUE

1. There is more good in the world than there is bad

2. Love conquers so much more than hate

3. All people of all cultures share the same basic needs

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FALSE

1. Going to war resolves problems

2. If we have everything we want, we will be happy

3. We are powerless to change our circumstances

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