This I Believe

Phillip - Napoleon, Ohio
Entered on December 8, 2006

Do Not Strive to Control the Uncontrollable

Stress is the feeling that results from our worry. Everyday of our lives we worry about both the important and trivial matters in our life. We stress out about circumstances that are both in and out of our control. It is for this reason that I have chosen to live my life somewhat stress-free. I believe that by not striving to control the uncontrollable, I can eliminate many headaches and live a much better life.

In order to reduce the stress in my life I had to recognize those situations and circumstances which were out of my control. Once I acknowledged the uncontrollable matters I tried to allow myself to relax and let the matters worry about themselves. During my daily life I have witnessed many people stressing out about situations that they could not control. When I witness these people I explain to them that it is futile to worry about such situations.

The inspiration that formed my outlook on life came one Sunday morning during my weekly visit to church. As I was sitting in the creaky red pew, Reverend Franklin Hayes recited Matthew chapter six verse 27 “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Then from verse 34 he read, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” As those words entered my ears I was inspired. Those words have shaped my life from that moment on. Those words still ring in my ears. I am always applying that philosophy to my life, and it has made my life much more enjoyable.

One thing that I always emphasize about my philosophy is that it is not an excuse to become complacent. When I allow uncontrollable situations to control themselves many people are convinced that I am lazy or that I simply do not care. This could not be farther from the truth. Many important circumstances are out of my control. When one of my best friends moved thousands of miles away I felt awful. I wanted him to stay with all of my heart but I knew that in the long run he would leave no matter what I did. Instead of filling my mind with depressing thoughts of his departure I flooded it with thoughts of the time he still had here. Many people took my approach to his departure as insensitive and that I did not care. They were wrong. I simply wanted to make the remainder of his time enjoyable.

Throughout my short life the philosophy of not worrying about the uncontrollable has improved my life. As a result I have discovered that my life has been less stressful and more enjoyable. Stress rules and ruins too many peoples’ lives. Worrying about the uncontrollable causes grey hair and too many headaches.