The modern lives we live today come with all kinds of stress, the problem is that we get so used to being stressed that we don’t notice it until we take a break or go somewhere that breaks our routine. Our greatest asset in life is our health, all the money in the world cannot buy a healthy mind and body, so it makes sense that we should be deliberate in making sure we stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

One way to do this is to understand the things we should focus on, and we can do this by asking ourselves 2 questions:

  1. Does it matter?
  2. Can I control it?

Unless the answer is yes on both counts, we can stop thinking about it. Because if it doesn’t matter, then who cares; and if you can’t control it, then why worry about it?

For me, the list of things I can stop thinking about includes:

1- Whether my children get into university or not (because I can’t control it).
2- Whether I could have saved R50 on groceries by going to a different store (because it doesn’t matter).
3- Whether the stock market is up or down right now (because I can’t control it).
4- That guy who cut me off in traffic (because it doesn’t matter).

As I drive home from work not thinking about any of those things, I am suddenly freed up to think about things that I can control and that do matter. For example:

1- How I treat my children, regardless of whether university is a good fit for them or not.
2- How I can get my shopping to align with my values.
3- How I behave when stock market fluctuations happen.
4- Learning to count to 10, taking a deep breath, and letting go when other drivers act selfishly.

Just imagine what might happen if we quit worrying about things we have no control over and quit obsessing over things that don’t matter.

Where else might we be able to invest that extra time, energy, and attention?

Dirk Groeneveld, Certified Financial Planner

t. 083 261 9287


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