What will happen today? Tomorrow? This year?
We cannot know what will happen.
We cannot control what will happen.
The only thing that we can choose is our perception and our response.
Viktor Frankl, in the must-read Man's Search for Meaning reminds us:
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms- to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
Frankl, who survived the Nazi death camps, has some authority on the subject.
Ryan Holiday, in The Obstacle is the Way, writes:
There is no good or bad without us, there is only perception. There is the event itself and the story we tell ourselves about what it means.
And in one my personal favorites quotes of all time, the monk David Steindl-Rast describes joy as:
That kind of happiness that doesn't depend on what happens.
Choosing a default, unconditional response through which we filter our universe can help us deal with everything we encounter - from difficult people to bad days at work to flat tires to structural injustice.1
Your life. Your Choice.
1 Note: As a white American male I don't personally deal with structural injustice, I just observe and have thoughts and feelings about it.
I write about deliberate living, learning, and doing good work.