Do you ever hear something in passing and it just sticks? It wasn't intended to be profound, but it was exactly what you needed to hear. I heard my favorite answer to the most common question we ask all the time, "How are you doing?"
The response, "Everything I can control is under control."
I know nothing about the older man that said this, but I imagine his story goes something like this...
Years ago I had huge dreams and equally large anxieties. I worked hard, but I worried. I labored and toiled, I made progress, but I always had that bit of doubt in the back of my mind. I worried about yesterday and tomorrow, and I was at the mercy of today's circumstances.
What if it's not enough? What if I'm not enough? What if this doesn't play out the way I want?
I learned the only way I would find peace is to treat every day as my masterpiece. I committed to being accountable for my own actions. I devoted myself to a process. Then I decided everything else was not my concern.
Worry, anxiety, waiting, wishing, and hoping went away. The pain of regret and the strain of trying to see too far ahead subsided. I was awake for the first time, present, and content.
"How am I doing?" you ask.
I have been the same every day since the day I made the decision I would not "live a life of quiet desperation with a song still stuck in my soul." I show up every day and focus only on what I can control. I am completely here, and most importantly, at peace.
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