Category: A piece we love
Imagine it’s a very still day, and you’re in a boat on the ocean.
There’s no wind.
The water is as flat as a mirror.
The calm goes on just long enough for you to start to feel like it’s normal.
When a small wave finally comes… it feels big. When a regular wave comes… it feels huge.
As scary as it might feel, it’s important to remember that waves are normal.
In fact, occasional storms are normal.
And the last thing you want to do when you get into a storm is abandon ship.
Sorry to burst your bubble.
There is no spreadsheet that can guarantee you will be fine. There is no amount of money that can guarantee you’ll always have enough. Uncertainty equals reality.
But that doesn’t mean we should live our lives petrified with fear.
Once we accept that the Magic Certainty Button doesn’t exist, we can stop looking or hoping for it. We can take all that wasted time and energy, and use it to do something more helpful—like repeating Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer over and over again.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
Not into prayers or mantras? Try this:
1. Make a list of all the things that matter that you can control.
2. Look at that list and put a big, fat checkmark next to everything you’ve addressed to the best of your ability.
3. Whatever you didn’t check off, take some time to work on it.
4. Any time you start craving that Magic Certainty Button, just go back to that list, and remind yourself that you have done everything you can (or if you haven’t, then do whatever you can).
5. Let go of the rest.
If you can do that—specifically, if you can make it all the way to step 5—you’ve got a touchstone for what can help you feel just a little more comfortable in an uncertain world.
Matt’s daughter told him that this episode’s guest is someone who can change the world.
Caroline Gaynor, a highly successful business person, and endurance athlete, demonstrates that satisfaction is often found when acting in the service of others. Take a moment to imagine training to complete a full Ironman triathlon (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run). Now imagine doing that same event, nearly 30 times, guiding someone every step of the way – specifically someone who cannot see the path ahead. Listen to this amazing conversation with Matt and Caroline now.