control the things we can and let the other stuff go!


The Serenity Prayer encourages us to control the things that we can control and let the rest go. It also talks about having he wisdom to know the difference.


control what you can

let go of the things you can’t

act courageously

Control the Things we can and Let the Other Stuff Go!

Hello -- Marc with the Gunnar Project.  The mission of the Gunnar Project is to inspire and teach people, especially young adults, how to pursue happiness each and every day.  

One of the things that has come into this whole happiness equation, I think it’s a big part of pursuing happiness is probably best captured in a prayer called the Serenity Prayer.  If you’ve never heard of it, it goes something like this:

Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

If you’re going to be on this path towards happiness, and you’re going to pursue happiness every day, it’s really important that you’re not consistently trying to change things that you actually have no control over whatsoever.  I know that we all get there sometimes, we just end up in this spot where it maybe even feels like we should have some impact and it feels like we should be able to create some change, but we’re actually in a position in a situation where we really have control on the outcome on this whatsoever.  In those cases, we need to learn to just step back and just let ‘er go.  

In other cases, there are times where we sort of sit out on the periphery a little bit and we don’t jump in and we don’t initiate change because we’re just a little bit afraid or we’re apprehensive or something like that.  Knowing the difference between these two is sort of what the Serenity Prayer talks to.

The other thing that I will add to this, and this is one of the skills that we’ll talk about here in a little bit as part of the Gunnar Project is this ability to just step back for a second.  Sometimes we get emotionally tied up into a situation -- we get so caught up in this situation that we don’t see that we don’t have any way to control this, or change this, and we really should just back out.  We’re just too emotionally drawn to it, and too emotionally captured into that situation to really see that.  If we’re in those situations and we feel like we’re getting maybe a little bit spiraling out of control or something and we do just take a step back and look at the situation, almost like a third-party looking at it from the outside -- most of the time, it becomes very clear that “Wow!  Here’s something I really need to jump in here because I can make a change…” or, on the other hand, I realize “You know what -- this is something I’m not going to impact this at all -- I need to just back out of this and just go on my merry way…”   

So again, the idea with the Serenity Prayer where you are really identifying those things you can control, and controlling them, clearly identifying the things that are “Hey, this is completely out of my control… there’s no reason for me to even get involved with this...”  and the ability to know the difference and the skill of stepping back, giving yourself just a moment of pause, and really evaluating and seeing -- taking sort of the emotions out of it, and seeing if this is something you can change or not -- very important part.  And again, if you were going to engage in happiness every day, there’s nothing that’s going to suck the happiness out of you more, than putting up a lot of emotion and effort and energy into something that you’re never really going to change anyway.  

This is Marc, with the Gunnar Project, trying to encourage people to pursue happiness every day.  Thanks again for listening -- looking forward to talking to you again soon.  Bye.