Some things we can control, some we can’t. We can control our attitudes, opinions, goals and desires – choices of our own. We can’t control health, wealth, fame or power – things we can’t have by choosing them.
What we can control naturally is not governed, restricted or constrained by others; what we can’t control is naturally governed, restricted and constrained by others. If you mistake what’s constrained for what’s free, and what others control for what you control, you’re in for it: you won’t get your way, you’ll be unhappy, you’ll be disturbed, and you’ll be spewing blame in every direction. But if you take for your own only what really is your own, and what’s not up to you as exactly that, then you’ve got it made: no one will ever make you do what you don’t want to, no one will ever thwart you, you won’t find fault with anyone, you’ll have no enemies and you’ll never come to harm.
With this much to aim for, you’d better believe it won’t be attained without effort. There’ll be things you’ll have to give up for good, and others to put on the shelf. For instance, if you want what we’re talking about, and you still want power and money too, then you probably won’t get them because you’ve compromised your pursuit of them with this philosophy stuff, and you definitely won’t get the things we’re discussing here that are the sole basis for freedom and happiness. Practice a new attitude toward events that seem unpleasant, telling yourself that the way they seem isn’t the way they have to be for you. Analyze each event according to the rules you’re learning, especially this: Is it something you can control or not? If not, be ready to say it’s not your concern.