God, 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.
The Serenity Prayer is something I like to keep in mind on a day to day basis.
It’s applicable to all facets of life and thereby a very useful principle in general.
Within the realm of business, whether a customer buys or not is outside of your control.
But what’s within your control is making sure that you’ve done everything you can to get the research, marketing, messaging, product development and so on, done to the best of your ability.
Within dating, whether someone loves you is outside of your control. But you can control your speech, manners, how you dress, how much you invest in yourself generally so that you’re more deserving. As Charlie Munger likes to say, To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want.
It’s similar to the Stoic Dichotomy of Control, which is about knowing the things that are within our control, and those that are not.
Your thoughts and actions are within your control.
Most other things are outside of your control.
It’s better to focus on things that are within your control.
It might seem obvious but a useful question to consider when you’re stressing about something is whether it’s controllable, and if it’s not to focus on what is.
Getting your eCommerce Shopify store $10 million in new sales is not directly within your control. But setting up systems & processes, doing product & market research, testing offers with Facebook & YouTube Ads that help you get there — those are all within your control.
There are enough things that are within your control to work on than to spend time on things that cannot be changed.