In my last post, we talked about how our real self has natural command and power over whatever is within its domain. Just like how a King wields full power over his kingdom to do whatever he wants.
So how do we apply this to our everyday lives?
You can think of it as YOU possessing your sphere of influence. You are the King and you have full power to influence anything within your Kingdom (your sphere of influence).
So you can ask yourself – what’s within your power to influence?
- There are things that you can do something about – we can do something about these.
- There are things that you can’t do anything about – you let these go.
Focus on what you CAN influence, not just on what you can’t.
So that’s a good question to be able to ask yourself in uncertain situations:
- What CAN you do? Instead of only worrying about all of the things that you can’t do.
- What CAN you influence?
- What CAN you rectify?
- What CAN you say on your part to fix things up? No matter how the other party reacts?
This puts the power back into your own hands – and you are no longer merely at the mercy of external forces (forces that are not self – anatta forces).
For example, in tennis, when Andre Agassi was facing Pete Sampras’ monstrous serve – Sampras’ serve was outside of his control. So did he wallow in despair at how he was facing the World No.1 and one of the greatest tennis players of all time?
He returned the power to his own hands by firstly, acknowledging the facts (so you’re not ignoring reality or blotting bad things out with a pink cloud) of Pete’s awesome serve – and then looking at what was within his power to do:
“Pete’s going to ace me a lot of the time and win games just on the sheer power of his serve. Expect that. It’s my job to return whatever I can and make it as hard for him to deal with whatever gets returned to him as much as I can.”
So you’ve got to focus on your own abilities – and acknowledge and try to neutralize whatever comes at you as best you can. Focus on what you can do, not on what you can’t. Keep your confidence on what you know for sure that you can do.
Life is not always nice. It throws various circumstances, up and downs, good and bad situations, curve balls and other testing challenges at us all the time. We can prevent some bad things from happening by doing the right things and by doing our homework, our preparation work properly, but sometimes, we find ourselves being hit by storms – because why? Because that’s how life is, that’s how nature is.
So sometimes, we can’t do anything about the circumstances that we find ourselves in. But we can do something about how we respond to them.
So you focus on what you can do – focus on whatever power you have within your own domain.
Your actions, what you say and what you think (the 3 karmas of body, speech and mind) are the key things that you can control – so remember this. When you are trying to influence things within your sphere of influence – then these are the 3 tools that you can use to go about it.
And if you’ve done the absolute best that you can do for each situation – then you leave it at that. Let the rest go. Why? Because the rest is out of your hands anyway – so why worry about it? Rest assured that you did what you needed to do to the best of your ability.