Do you ever wish the world was different? I sure do. Like … I want it to drive less like an asshole. I want it to stop imposing to boner-killingly impossible deadlines on me. I want it to value endless income less, and quality and friendship and gratitude more.
Sometimes all this wishing and wanting makes me rant and rave a little — or more than a little — about how things could be and how there must be a better way, about everything that is wrong with the world and how I would go about setting it right.
And, you know, I do have a bit of a gift for ranting … . so it’s kind of fun to me in a let’s-get-this-opposite-of-a-party-started kind of way. Which makes it hard to resist when I start feeling that urge to put on my ranting dress.
But, oh, how useless it is. It’s not like yelling at bad drivers or going on a tear about how the economy should be organized or any of my other favorite topics actually does any good. I mean, I might get a good zinger in here or there, but beyond that … what does it do, besides turn me into a ranting crazy person? (Which is not a good look for me.)
And it’s not just useless to rant and rave — it can actually be harmful. Because I end up fantasizing about people buying my book instead of sitting down to write more of them. Or I go off on inefficiencies at work instead of putting my head down and organizing my own projects more efficiently. Or I rail against consumerism and greed instead of reining in my own tendency to buy far more shoes and earrings than are necessary.
Instead of freaking out about things over which I have no control, the best thing I can do — that any of us can do, I think — is to focus on what we can control. Obviously. I mean, this is the crux of the Serenity Prayer, Steven Covey’s Seven Habits, and basically every self-improvement-style spiritual path. It’s the most basic thing in the world to understand, but not so easy to do. It requires that you constantly pay attention to what’s going on in your mind, and constantly draw it back to what YOU can do instead of how fucked everything is.
But it’s worth it … because when it gets down to it, the only way to change anything is to focus on what you can do, right? The only way to impact the wider circle is to start in a smaller one. There’s no guarantee that your small circle changes will ripple out, of course, but there’s only one way to find out, and that’s to stop bitching and start moving.
This blog is meant not only to help you be less crazy but to help ME be less crazy. So … today I’m refocusing myself on my own dance space. Tightening up my spaghetti arms instead of flailing around expecting everyone else to fix everything. Doing what I can do as best I can. This includes taking care of myself — meditating, eating well, getting some exercise, getting some laughs and some zzzs — so I can then take care of business.
How about you? Are you wigging out about stuff you don’t have any control over? What can you do today to refocus on your own dance space?