‘morning Fitties!  Happy Wednesday! I love today because it’s not supposed to be over 90 degrees (Elizabeths don’t like extreme heat. Or cold. Or wind.) and I have ZUMBA tonight!!! WOOT!!!

Quick note: If you are in the Boston area and you’re a fitness FREAK, I urge you to check out Joie Walsh’s PiYo Training in Boston on Sunday.  You gotta contact her ASAP because spaces are filling up, but I believe there’s a discount involved. Joie certified me to teach PiYo and I guarantee you will have your ass handed to you in a nice, neat little package by the time she’s done.  In a good way I mean this. 

My original post this morning centered around what Brian Tracy calls our personal responsibility to determine our calling in life. In other words, to discover what our skills and talents are suited for and to chase after that purpose come hell or high water.

Then something happened, which I won’t go into detail about because there’s no real point in doing so, that sort of shattered my positivity and good humor for the morning.  So instead of talking about the urgent need to find our calling, I’m going to talk about personal responsibility instead.  It all ties together, stay with me.

The only thing we can control is ourselves.  Specifically, we can control our mental attitude.  Sometimes controlling our behavior is a little trickier, but it all starts with mental attitude since your behavior is an outward manifestation of your thoughts.  When we allow someone else to have power over our emotions and mental attitude (or to shatter our positivity for the day), we are the loser. They win, we lose. They may not even see this as some sort of battle or game. They probably aren’t even thinking about us and our shattered emotional state. That almost makes it worse. We give someone else power to control our day and they don’t even realize it or care. Or maybe they do care and they did seek to ruin your equanimity on purpose.  Jerks. Either way, don’t give them the satisfaction.

Don't be fooled. This dude was one stubborn SOB.

I spend a lot of time listening to my friends and clients and I notice a common denominator in my woes and theirs — they involve difficulties with the people we work with, live with and love and our inability to get them to do (or not do) something. We can’t make our spouse exercise after dinner because spouses are not puppets whose strings we pull.  Funny thing about spouses, the more you try to pull their strings, the less likely they are to do what you want — even if it’s in their own best interests to do so.  Poodles are like that too, but that’s another story.

Or maybe your co-worker keeps bringing you homemade cookies when you want to eliminate sugar from your diet.  Maybe your kids’ friends keep feeding them junk food when your kid goes over to play at their house. Maybe your in-laws keep buying your kids toys with batteries that make a lot of noise because they secretly want to drive you insane. These people won’t let us control them.  All we can control is ourselves. So we’ve got to be clever and crafty about how to solve the problem by exercising our personal responsibility.  Sometimes, it’s just letting go of a situation that you know you can’t control and refusing to let it suck your energy from your priorities.  Other times, it’s just exercising your right to set boundaries. For example, your kids play at your house and eat your food or they don’t play with their friends.

So here’s the big tie-in between personal responsibility over our emotions and in finding our true calling: In the end, it’s all up to us what kind of life we want to have.  We can’t get pissed off at people for not cooperating in our quest for a pleasant life. We can exercise control over the things in our power — our attitude and the type of friends and spouses we choose — and refuse to let the things we can’t control bring us down.

Make sense? I feel better. Time to hit my to-do list. Anyone else have tips for dealing with situations they can’t control?