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The other day, I was feeling frustrated. I was dealing with an injury, and it wasn’t progressing as quickly as I wanted it to. I was going to physical therapy, and doing my exercises, but the reality was that I was going to have to accept a less than ideal situation. I might never get back to doing some of the exercises I used to enjoy.

Wanting to Fix It

I was feeling down about my situation, and I was wishing there was something I could do to FIX IT. The reality was that I could do some things to improve my situation, but then there was part of the injury that I couldn’t fix. This was hard for me to accept.

Working to Improve Your Situation

I think my situation is a lot like life, so there are some lessons that can be learned. In most areas of life, there are things we can do to improve our situation. We can work hard and apply effort toward getting what we want. We can learn something new, improve our skills, and get a coach. It’s important to do what we can to improve our situation.

Dealing with Limitations

And, there are times, even if you are living a very good life, that you come to the end of what you can do to change your situation. We all have to deal with certain limitations. If we have done everything we can to improve our situation, we may need to practice acceptance. We may not like it, but life isn’t perfect. There are some situations that we just need to accept and move on.

Differentiating Between Action and Acceptance

One of the key skills to develop in life is to differentiate between the two scenarios. This is wisdom, and it takes practice and life experience to develop. We need to improve our ability to differentiate between when we should apply effort to change our situation and when we should accept our situation and move on.

4 Key Considerations

Here are four key considerations I use when trying to differentiate between action and acceptance:

  1. Have you tried to change your situation yet? If you haven’t tried to change your situation, it might be worth expending some effort to do so. You won’t know whether you can improve things until you try.
  2. Have you gotten help? Sometimes our efforts fail because we don’t have enough information or the necessary skills. Have you gotten help from experts or a counselor about your situation? If not, it might be worth trying before you give up trying to change your situation.
  3. How long have you been trying to change? If you have been trying to change your situation a long time (without seeing any improvement), it might be something you need to accept.
  4. How would an average person react? It can be helpful to check out your situation with a friend or colleague. How would they react if they were in your situation? Would they be more likely to try to change the situation or practice acceptance?

Discussion

What is one thing you are struggling to change in your life? How do you see the balance between applying effort on one hand and practicing acceptance on the other hand?

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