Control the Controllable

Friday, October 04, 2019 - By: Bud Patel - Head of School

I love my morning routine. I wake up to Mrs. Patel’s less-than-quiet movement around the room, including the bright lights seeping from the cracks in the bathroom door. Enjoying a warm shower and a shave – though I must admit that I strongly dislike shaving.

After getting ready - in accordance with the daily texts I receive from the sartorial splendor crowd of Mr. Sullivan, Mr. McPherson, Mr. Wismer and Mr. Barrett (skinny pants, tight shirts and loud socks) - I mosey down to the kitchen and carefully prepare the best starter experience a person can have – a perfectly brewed cup of coffee, Not just any coffee, Drumroaster Coffee. Just one cup does it for me and oh, the smell, colour, texture and taste are simply sublime!

After that, I begin checking email and navigate with my friend Google to see the weather forecast. This experience can send me into a happy dance or a cursing stomp.

Earlier this week, I had an out-of-body experience and realized something that many of you already know – I’m an idiot! Why do I torture myself every morning with the seven day forecast? Yes, the obvious response is to prepare for the day ahead – jacket or no jacket, etc. So why do I look at the seven day forecast. The same thing, I guess. However, I had an epiphany on Monday morning during that idiotic moment: I can’t control the weather. I have to accept it for what it is. More importantly, I must focus on what I can control.

Like many of my epiphanies, I began to see connections to the rest of my world. I should focus on controlling the controllable by 

  • Completing my daily to do list

  • Being sure I’m on time to meet with person x or y

  • Preparing for a meeting

  • Finalizing my fantasy football roster

Controlling the Controllable is not just a lesson for me to learn at the age of 52: we can all focus on the controllable by

  • Making our bed every morning - controllable

  • Using our daily agenda book - controllable

  • Ensuring our homework is completed - controllable

  • Giving maximum effort during our wind sprints - controllable

  • Embracing the feedback from our arts instructors - controllable

  • Making good decisions - controllable

  • Taking responsibility for our actions - controllable

Don’t focus on things out of our control…

  • What others think of us

  • Most of the decisions others make

  • Or stew about questions like “Does Mr. Patel like me?” (Hint: He doesn’t!)

I will continue to engage with my friend, Google, but avoid giving energy to the uncontrollable and instead focus my attention on what I can control.

I invite you to do the same.

Mr. Bud Patel - Head of School

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