It’s not often I draw inspiration from modern country musicians.

It’s even less often that inspiration comes from a guy like Eric Church, who has a song about an ex taking one of his beers before she left him. Apparently you haven’t felt real heartache until you’re one beer short of a twelve-pack. Poor guy.

When asked about how much he worried about an upcoming awards show, though, his answer said a lot:

“Nope. There only things I can control in this business:

1. The songs we write

2. The shows we put on”

Too often in life we focus on things out of our control: the weather, the economy, what kind of life we were born into, or worst of all — people who have no impact on the path of our lives.

If someone cuts you off at a red light, what do you do? Do you exert the energy it takes to create the negative reaction worthy of that jerk, or do you accept it as another thing you can’t control and move on?

In the long run, that single event is next to meaningless. How you react to it is everything.

Whenever you give minor annoyances the time of day, when you embrace the negative emotion which comes with them, you are passing control of your own life to someone who neither knows nor cares what he just did.

Meanwhile, you stew on it, letting it impact your attitude when you get into work. And seeing negative things tend to be infectious.

Soon, you’ll be realizing everyone is out to get you, from the guy who took the last BBQ sandwich to the selfless dirt bag who took the last cup of coffee and didn’t make a new pot.

Constantly focusing on other people is the best way to assure you never move beyond your current circumstances.

There’s a secret I’m not telling you about this. One little thing which keeps most people playing the blame game for the rest of their lives.

It’s hard.

When you’re tired, stepped in cat poop on your way to the bathroom, forgot your coffee, and accidentally wore two different socks to the board meeting, blaming others is more than easy, it’s natural. Your animal brain gets loud when we are already at the end your rope.

I beg you to fight it. It’s an enormous challenge to ignore what we can’t control and embrace what we can, but massive empowerment comes with being the main character of your own life.

Embrace it, forget the haters, and start doing what you were meant to do.

Written by

An optimist who writes.

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