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No matter how much structure we create in our lives, no matter how many good habits we build, there will always be things that we cannot control — and if we let them, these things can be a huge source of anger, frustration and stress.

For example, let’s say you’ve created the perfect peaceful morning routine. You’ve structured your mornings so that you do things that bring you calm and happiness that carries right into your entire day. And then out of the blue the water pipe bursts in your bathroom, what worst the bathroom is clogged up and you spend a stressful morning trying to clean up the mess and get the pipe fixed.

You get frustrated. You are disappointed, because you didn’t get to do your morning routine. You are stressed from all these changes to what you’re used to. It ruins your day because you are frustrated for the rest of the day.

Not the best way to handle things, is it? And yet if we are honest, most of us have problems like this, with things that change the way we like things, with people who change what we are used to, with life when it doesn’t go the way we want it to go.

I think we all know this at some level, but the way we think and act and feel many times contradicts this basic truth. We don’t control the universe, and yet we seem to wish we could. All the wishful thinking won’t make it so. You can’t even control everything within your own little sphere of influence — you can influence things, but many things are simply out of your control.

In the example above, you can control your morning routine, but there will be things that happen from time to time (someone’s sick, accident happens, phone call comes at 5 a.m. that disrupts things, etc.) that will make you break your routine. First step is realizing that these things will happen. Not might happen, but will. There are things that we cannot control that will affect every aspect of our lives, and we must accept that, or we will constantly be frustrated. Meditate on this for awhile.

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