So, flipping it around from its usual order:
“Grant me the wisdom to know the difference.”
[between what I can change and what I can’t change].
If I look at any given problem, or even all the difficult situations in my life, in the lives of those I know, or even in the lives of people I’ve seen on television or in a novel… sorting the pile of problems into those over which I (or they) have some ability to make a difference and those in which I (or they) have no ability to make a difference can be a HUGE step to feeling empowered.
Just knowing that we can sort the pile, and taking a step to do so, seems to make the pile of problems so much smaller, that already I’m feeling less weighed down by the pile of problems…
Like “I can do this.” kind of feeling.
And it really is Wisdom to be able to take that step back and sort the pile in such a way that we’re feeling more empowered.
“Grant me the COURAGE to change the things I can.”
So… after sorting the pile of problems into pile 1- (those I can’t change) and pile 2- (those I can change), if I could pull forth my courage and act on those things I can, I will immediately start to feel even better, because I’ll be doing something to make a difference.
And in my experience, even before I’ve actually done something, and even before I can see the results of the something that might be done- just knowing I can do something is empowering.
So, by this point in the story, rather than sitting in a slump feeling pitiful, helpless, and miserably buried under a pile of problems, I’ve taken my power and sorted the pile of problems and started thinking about what I might do to start solving some of them… and I am feeling loads better.
And then “The Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change.” — just comes fairly easily and naturally. I’m not stressing so much about the things I can’t change, because in all actuality- I’m too busy working on changing the things I can to let my mind wander over to those things I can’t change. And I’m feeling empowered and at peace with the process, knowing that in working my part– I am making a difference.
Or in Covey’s language- I am being proactive and effective.
I mentioned in a previous article (Superpowers 1: The Power of Choice) that the power of choice feels like a super power to me. Choosing where to focus my attention (sorting the pile) is definitely part of that super power. It is the first step of moving from one who is acted upon to one who makes a difference in my own life and the lives of others. From my perspective, making a difference is pretty empowering, effective, and heroic. And if that’s not the definition of a superpower, I don’t know what is.
Thanks for sharing the journey with us 🙂
Special Thanks to Amanda Salsman for the graphics <3
Read my previous article: Superpowers 1: The Power of Choice:
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