Do you know the ground rules?

art of encore living personal development stoicism Feb 06, 2023

To play your game is to define the difference only you and craft it into a meaningful endeavor done with and for people you care about so you can live your legacy.

However, while you pursue what you want on your terms without compromising on the content of your character, there are a few ground rules.

“Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not.”—Epictetus

Agency is as intoxicating as it is elusive. 

When the breaks go your way, it’s easy to believe it’s due to your intelligence and planning. 

When things go awry, it’s easy to blame others or fate.

The truth is, very little is within your control, but at the same time, you do control everything required to maintain your sense of well-being and prosperity.

You ultimately control only two things. 

You determine how you choose to perceive yourself, others, and your situation. 

You also control what you decide to do next.

Everything else is beyond your control.

Your body is subject to disease, decline, and, ultimately, death. 

The attitude and behavior of others are for them to decide, not you.

And there are forces far more powerful than you at work in life’s social, political, economic, cultural, and geographical arenas.

However, many things beyond your absolute control are within your influence.

You can eat well and exercise to promote a healthy body. 

You can adopt a compassionate posture toward others that encourages them to engage in their goodness.

And you can choose your battles and leverage your assets to persuade results that enhance the prospects for all.

Agency is then less about what is and is not within your control, but rather your willingness to take responsibility for your decisions and actions.

Accepting agency’s invitation doesn’t guarantee the outcomes we desire. Instead, it provides us with a much more valuable gift.

The ability to find fulfillment and meaning in the journey.

(This is an excerpt from The Art of Encore Living: A Guide for Finding Fulfillment, Forging Meaning, & Making a Difference in the Second Half of Life. Click here to learn more.)

Scott Perry, Encore Life Coach at Creative on Purpose

If this resonates, please share it with a friend!