Control. Do you give much thought to it? What is in your control? What is not?
Take for an example your body. The unknown condition growing within you was more from chance than from neglect. Was this in your control? Of course not. Exercising every day with a good diet didn’t stop the tumor. It just, as far as anyone knows, happened.
Or what about the weather? It wasn’t your doing that caused the storm and the landslide that wiped out your home and possessions. Random chance. No gods conspiring against you. It just happened.
So many things that are out of our control, but even during the most chaotic times, we can always be in control of one thing. Our minds.
The stoics were big on this: We can control the things within our control. And for all the things that are not in our control, at least we can control our minds and how we deal with it.
We don’t always get a fair shake. That’s life. So how do you respond? Do you get angry? Do you give up? Do you shake your fist at God and blame Him for your problems? You are one of a billion with countless others that have gone before you and countless more to come, yet you think the universe has singled you out and dealt you these cards?
It just happened, as it happens to many others in some fashion or another. We take the cards we are dealt. We can’t change the cards; they are not in our control. What is in our control? How we play the game. You can fold at every hand or you can play. Control what you can control. And if everything is out of control, rest assured, that your mind is your own and that is something you can always control. Take control.
Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens. -Epictetus