“For after all, the best thing one can do when it’s raining is let it rain.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Unwanted things happen all the time that we have absolutely no control over. These things make us angry, sad, or frustrated and wreak havoc with our meticulously made plans…and there’s nothing we can do about it. In those situations, there are really only two things we can do: 1) Wish things were different, or 2) Accept how things are.
We might dwell on all the things we think could have happened differently to change the situation or things we could have done that we believe would have altered our circumstances. We could spend a lot of time living in the past and making up stories that will never manifest in reality. However, this path leads to misery, regret, guilt, shame, and a complete lack of productivity.
On the other hand, we could pause to examine and thoroughly understand our present circumstances and accept things as they currently are. That is, we can exist in the present with an accurate picture of our current challenges, focus directly on those aspects of the situation we can influence, and take purposeful action. This path leads to persistence, grit, and productivity.
Today, when things don’t go exactly the way you wanted them to go, pay attention to your reaction. Are you wallowing in self-pity and creating alternate scenarios that would require a time machine to do you any good? Or, are you acknowledging the reality of your circumstances, honestly assessing the situation, and turning your attention toward affecting positive change in ways that are possible for you in that moment?
To use Longfellow’s example above…are you wishing for the sun while getting drenched? Or, are you looking for shelter that will keep you dry and warm?