The ‘Serenity Prayer’ is a popular prayer written by Reinhold Neibuhrwidely that’s been widely used in sermons and Sunday school groups across the world and even adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous in their twelve step program. It goes:
God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Whether you’re biblical, spiritual, agnostic or just a human being with basic logic, there’s an aspect to this prayer that is a fundamental truth: There are things in life in our control as there are things that aren’t.
When it comes down to it, we all live in a capitalist society where time is money, stresses are real and many, many things happen that are out of our control — which is why it’s imperative for us to be intentional about the things we do have a grasp on.
And the best way to do that is with perspective.
No one has it perfect and we all have our own troubles but whether we succeed or we remain stuck in our current situations is based on how we choose to see ourselves.
If you’re looking for the bad, it’s a piece of cake. If you’re looking for the good, it’s a piece of cake. It’s all a matter of what you’re looking for. It’s a decision.
Will you lean into the good and accept what’s working for you or will you choose to focus on the bad and the cards that have not played in your favor? And no one’s saying minimize the trauma you’ve had in your life or dismiss it for that matter.
It’s about putting your energy into the positive, rather. Which is what we all can do.
Honestly, a lot of us don’t even realize that we’re adopting negative and counter-productive attitudes every day. Then we wonder why we only attract bad things in life.
Accepting what you cannot change is not laying down or succumbing to defeat in any way at all. Instead, it’s acknowledging shortcomings and not letting them define you. Without even realizing it, we focus on failures that are already written in stone — things that are behind us… That’s a failed perspective.
We must be mindful with both our thought processes and with what we say. As cheesy as the glass-half-full cliche is, it works. Instead, focus on not having a life-threatening illness, that you have citizenship, that, although you haven’t gotten your dream gig, you’re still in the running, and that it’s not over.
A simple flip in your point of view will lead in you in a different direction and attract different things to you. Focus on what is good, on what is pure, on what you love, and that is what you will attract.
Like anything, mastery must come from practice, and the same goes for perfecting our perspective.
Every day we must be intentional about finding the good in our lives, which is a lot harder than it ever seems. At times it feels like contentment is impossible — there’s always another level to glow; there’s always something else to attain.
That’s why centering our focus on life’s positives unlocks major wins and why only a few win.
You cannot let your losses and your deficiencies cripple you. Our job is to take the good — no matter how spare — then nurture it into more good. When we, every day, make it our business to point out the things that are working in our favor, more things will inevitably work in our favor.
No one can walk in anyone else’s shoes. We all have obstacles in our own rights that maybe only we ourselves will know about. However, it is up to us how we respond.