As I was looking for a certain picture, this one looked back at me. Like many pictures do these days, it feels like it was yesterday and a lifetime ago, all at once. In reality, it was almost exactly two years ago, which seems impossible to believe. Those two little pumpkins are mostly teenagers now, who are no longer fascinated by Ollivander’s wand shop in Diagon Alley. They might still be interested in Honeydukes candy shop, but I have a hunch that the rest of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios would probably seem pretty uncool today . . . even if it’s just a phase. I hear that childlike wonder returns to boys later in life and sure I hope it’s true. Either way, it reminds me how little control I have over any of it.
All I can control is the way I show up for them.
In the same way, watching the Notre-Dame Cathedral burn gave us all a bold reminder of lack of ability to control the outcomes in our lives. It’s interesting that only recently, I heard a talk involving a detailed explanation of the flying buttress system of arched supports in the back of the Notre-Dame. It was one of the first buildings in the world to use this strategy to bring stability to the Gothic architecture that had thinner walls than other styles. For almost 1000 years it was believed that those flying buttresses would hold her up, but as we all watched, the flames from within brought her down. The exterior supports couldn’t control it.
The same is true for the rest of us.
No matter how much we plan, calculate, build, and invest, we cannot control the future. No matter how much we wish we could. We can influence the outcome, for sure. But alas, we cannot control it. In Seth Godin’s blog this morning he said it like this:
“My hunch is that two things are true:
• We have much less direct control over the future than we hope, and that it will always surprise us.
• We have far more ability to make an impact than we expect. The only people who can change our culture (and thus our future) are us.
We can’t control the future, but we can bend it. And we can’t freeze the world as it is, but we can figure out how to be a part of it.”
In the end, confidence doesn’t come from controlling the circumstances or controlling other people.
But confidence does come from something you can control.
It’s the way you show up.
The contribution you make.
The connections you build with the people you love.
Figure out how you want to be a part of your world today.
to more love,