One of the keys to being a successful leader is to focus on the present and tackle each day as it comes.
The Serenity Prayer, composed by Reinhold Niebuhr in the 1930s, captures this mindset in one powerful sentence:
God, give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference….
How are you living your life?
- When you are depressed, you are living in the past.
- When you are anxious, you are living in the future.
- When you are at peace, you are living in the present.
We waste enormous amounts of time and energy dwelling the past or living in the future. We can learn from the past, and we must plan for the future, all we can do each day is live in the present.
We must be flexible and recognize that life does not always go as we imagine. This is where intention and purpose come in. If we have the correct intention and purpose, we are open to different possibilities as life presents them to us.
Do this exercise: Take time to remember something you were worried about a year ago. Or if you write in a journal, look at the issue you were wrestling with in the past. How did everything work out? You’ll see that many of us waste a lot of attention and energy worrying about issues that often turned out fine.
A man once told me that 95% of the things we worry about never occur.