There is only the trying

Below is Noah’s latest blog from Psychology Today, enjoy:

68,000,000 Americans suffer from high blood pressure.
50% of adolescents between 12-18 feel pressured into have sex in relationships.
Planet earth was born in a cosmic pressure cooker.
Feeling pressure in our daily lives is the expectation not the exception.

To say that most of us live pressured lives does not make me a philosopher. It barely makes me an observer. But here’s the observation – an observation borrowing on fact and the consequences of a fiction driven stress.

The number one illness in the world is depression. The number one reason for depression is stress. The number one stress is people trying to be in control of what is out of their control.

Unfortunately this self-imposed stress puts pressure is not on our effort but on the outcome of our efforts. And, when our focus is backward we live lives that feel backed into a corner.

We are not responsible for what the world delivers to our doorstep. To wake up in the morning, read the headlines, and let our well-being be premised on what others are doing or think about us is an emotional sucker punch.

The reason we get caught in this emotional jam is because we haven’t come to grips with a piece of information that is a challenge to our ego – and a giant challenge to giant egos. We are not in charge except – excuse the grammar – as you are singularly in charge of you.

Yes, stuff happens, but we are only responsible for our response and wiser when we respond not react. Of course what we do or don’t do can influence the lives of others but influence is still a long way from being in charge. Other-accountability makes for opinions; self-accountability makes for peace of mind.

Self-accountability has no end game. It is only played in the now. Whether in private life, public life, or business life mark the words of William Durant, founder of General Motors: “Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget about everything except what you are going to do now – and do it.”

On every stage, in any role, we are better counseled to play the part and not the result. And no one put this advice more succinctly, or afforded us a better meditation, than the poet T.S. Eliot who wrote, “There is only the trying. The rest is not our business.” This is the same Eliot who wrote The Wasteland, and to ignore this advice is to point our life in that direction.

There is only the trying. There is only the trying. Say that a few times each day and then say amen when you’re actually paying attention. All prayer does not begin with Dear God. A great deal that is spiritually uplifting begins with Dear Me. Dear Me I’m not in charge, but I’m in charge of me, and I’m okay. And sometimes doing okay is okay.

Noah to reader: Do your best, and make peace with the rest.

Noah benShea

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