When You Can Do Nothing

Outside Your Control

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No matter where you live in the world, right now is a tense and uncertain time. It’s human nature to want to do something when you see society in a meltdown and you’re unsure how this will impact you and your future. In this article I outline specific steps you can take, that when you take them will help you sleep better tonight and find more inner peace the next few days.


As I outlined last week, we’re sitting on a huge cusp of change. Our entire world is impacted – so are we as individuals. Since what’s happening is so unprecedented, we naturally get nervous and want to find a sense of control – or at least answers that help convince us all will be okay. In fact, the more uncertainty we face, the more we cling to our desire to control. As part of that, we want to DO something to feel we are taking an active role in our life experience.

Below are examples of 7 things triggering the human need for control, 7 life situations we cannot control, and 5 things you can do to navigate this juncture.

Happenstance triggering human need for control:

1.  Chaos

2.  Uncertainty

3.  Social unrest

4.  Volatile news

5.  Misinformation

6.  Global pandemic

7.  Polarized society

Situations in life you cannot control:

1.  Change

2.  Weather

3.  Future

4.  Past

5.  Traffic

6.  Opinions of other people

7.  Outcome of election after you voted

Our Big Challenge Now

A big challenge now is our ego-desire to want answers immediately, and to see outcomes unfold in a way that we can accept. Our common sense and inner wisdom – when we listen to it – remind us that it’s silly to insist on instant answers or guarantees of outcomes. However, when we feel that stakes are high, our conditioned ego-self can override our common sense.

5 Things You Can Do Now


If you are stressed about an election result or some other life-changing result – factor in the stages involved in happenstance. Outcomes unfold in stages, as do all changes. Sometimes the stages are in the background, undetectable to those not familiar with how things unfold.

The November 3 US elections are an example. There are laws and procedures that can differ from state to state. Oftentimes election outcomes aren’t officially known for days or longer. Factor in the pandemic to what I describe above – and how it radically changed how and when people voted – meaning we have longer periods of vote counting and knowing results. Fact check information you take in – many things are not as they appear, and we now live in times of authoritarianism involving no moral compass. Related to that, look for evidence to back up allegations and threats.


Strive to see the big picture. Many issues we collectively face are impacted by a long history of societal dysfunction. The outmoded needs to be dismantled, but it will take time – especially in a polarized society.


Allow for surprises and delays. Whether you are waiting for a job offer or following an issue like an election that causes you stress, remember that these are unusual times. Many things are delayed, and historic surprises can occur.


Apply patience. The chaos and polarization we’ve experienced in 2020 won’t disappear anytime soon. Many wounds must be healed. Regardless of who is America’s president in 2021 – it will take time to address the country’s polarized society, the pandemic, broken systems, compromised international alliances, and dismantled institutions needed for effective government and international relations.


Find something daily to feel positive about. This will boost your mood, help your sleep, and make you more productive.

I look forward to your feedback on these themes and knowing how I can serve you in an expanded way. Feel free to contact me at my website.

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