We use our local library a lot. I order books, magazines, dvds and cds on their website and go in usually on a Friday to pick up our new stash and return due items. However, they've recently upgraded their website and I found it bothersome to use. I liked their old website much better! So each time I'd log on to request items - which by the way costs me nothing for books and magazines, and a few dollars for a cd or dvd - I'd think 'stupid new website, why couldn't they leave it as it was'.
Instead of being grumpy about the new website I could be grateful. I have access to this world-class library system and it costs virtually nothing. They have spent probably hundreds of thousands if not millions upgrading what may have been an antiquated website that will set them up for the next few years. I'm sure the staff have had way more headaches than me getting to grips with it, not to mention all the complaining customers who have undoubtedly flooded them with queries and moans.
I have no control over what the library does with their website so why am I getting grumpy about it. Just accept that it has changed. And that, my chic friends, is the key to serenity:
No complaining about that which you have no control over
This phrase would stop the whiny voice in my head 'why has this website changed, it used to be easier, now I have to learn something new...'
Complaining, even just to myself, about something I cannot control is futile. It gets me nowhere since there is nowhere for the complaining to go - I can't fix it, I just stay stuck in the complaint with no was out. If I complain about something I can fix, I can fix it, or stop complaining. That's a different thing. But complaining about something I have no control over is pointless.
I thought of other ways this focus is applicable:
- When someone is rude to me
- When someone cuts me off in the car or makes me take evasive action not to collide with them
- When someone is thoughtless - cuts into a queue, doesn't return a call
- A news item, if I happen to see the news or if someone asks 'did you hear about...'
- A business's stupid policy
- Other people simply being annoying - parking badly, loud music etc
- When other online things change - i.e. our online banking, email, our shop website's hosting company
- When I have no choice over buying a new electronic item because the old one has died or is obselete, such as my laptop. When I had to get a new laptop just over a year ago it caused me months of stress, anxiety, anger and all sorts of not good emotions. Yes it was loads of hassles, one after the other, but at the end of the day I just had to learn what to do to fix the issues and move on.
There are many ways in which this realisation will benefit me:
- It gives me clear boundaries - if I can do something about it I will, if I have no control over it, I will go with it (or choose not to deal with that company maybe)
- I will feel proactive
- I will feel like I am in control (this is the main thing - feeling like you are helpless is the worst feeling and it leaves you feeling really demoralised)
- I will become stronger with each thing I delete or overcome
- I will be emotionally mature by sailing my own ship, not letting the waves buffet me around so much
- I will be more positive and successful in my endeavours because I will be focusing on that which I do have control over, rather than the other
- I will radiate calmness
- I will go through life lightly, letting annoyances slip away, I don't need to hold onto them
- I get to choose how I feel
- I will be nicer to be around
- I will have better health and general happiness because I have less stress
What do you think? Do you stress about little (and big) things that you have no control over? What might you change, if anything? I’d love to know.
PS. I've had wonderful feedback from my latest book 'How to be Chic in the Winter', which is all about living slim, happy and stylish during the cold season. Here is what one of my lovely readers Elizabeth had to say:
'Great book! She articulates and explains so many things I have struggled with in putting together my ideal lifestyle. She has a unique, patient, and step by step way of explaining....how to be CHIC! Want to read all her others. LOVED her Christmas Chic book too.'
I am so happy that my writing comes across in this way; thank you for the review Elizabeth!