August 7. “A problem is something that can be solved. A fact is something that must be accepted.” (John Maxwell)
Reading this quote today also makes me think of the serenity prayer:
God grand me the
Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can; and
Wisdom to know the difference.
Problems, in Maxell’s view, are those things that I can change, while facts are those which I cannot. The hard part can be discerning between what is fact, and what is a problem, or for that matter, an opportunity.
In life there are certain things about me which are facts:
- I am a man
- I am getting older by the minute
- I have made certain decisions to this point in my life
- I have a set of experiences which has brought me to where I am today
These are all things which I cannot change. I have to accept that I am a 52 year old man who has made tens of thousands of decisions, and has lived experiences that lead me to today. I cannot change the events of the past, I cannot turn back the clock, and I cannot have any re-dos on past choices. If I live my life regretting these things, or trying to alter them, then I am wasting my time.
There are also many things in my life which I can address – problems if you will. I can alter my appearance, my health, and my approach to life. While it is true that my lived experiences and the sum total of my decisions have brought me to today, they do not dictate what happens tomorrow, or any other time in the future. I can make new choices, and those choices can help me build to a new reality.
Today my reflection is on which parts of my life are facts which I must accept, and which are problems or opportunities that can be altered. I am working hard at my physical health, with my weight loss and increased exercise. Along the way I am becoming mentally healthier too, as I have a new outlook on myself and my life. But, there is always room for improvement.
Soon I will be at the end of my current assignment at work. By the end of this year I will be searching out the next challenge. When I do that I can stay with what I have known well in the past couple of decades, or I can branch into new opportunities. The choice will largely be mine. I must approach that choice with full understanding of what I like about what I do presently, and what things I want to do differently. Only then can I make the best choice possible.