Take on what you can control.
Life is a game composed of the choices you decide to make. Base the choices you make on how easy you can control the result.
Think of it this way. You go through life making choices, and if the decisions you make are about things out of your control, then your life becomes filled with more chance. The pure randomness of the events that will impact you are bound to quickly pile up. The sheer amount of randomness will drive you insane over time.
The other side is a complete avoidance of choices that are out of your control. This offers you a safe, yet mundane result that could pan out negatively because you will have paralysis around choice.
Make a compromise with yourself on choices you can and cannot control.
How do you decide what to embark on versus what to shy away from?
Gauge it on a scale of how can it be controlled. Combine the stress level trying to control your choice with the unwarranted stress if you are unable to control it. How happy will you be when you reach the other side, but how hard will it be to get there? Use these four questions as your guide.
Lets look at control, choices, and political outcomes.
Today, it is quite easy to find someone becoming agitated or energized from political events. Let’s keep up your calmness, and not go into specifics. Instead, consider these examples about what you can control in a political sense.
A lot of political discussion comes from a top-down approach. What does this mean? You choose a president, Federal Congressmen and Senators to represent your state, and in turn they appoint Federal Judges, hire like-minded folks for government agencies, and enact policies that trickle down to your life. How much of this process do you control? You control your vote. Let’s look at this one vote. It is part of the electoral college based on your state. Your vote for a Senator and House Representative elects them into a group of people with either 99 or 400+ others. You control your hopes and expectations for what the political party you pledge allegiance to will enact on your behalf, but that’s about it. You can protest, and raise awareness before, during, and after this process, but that’s where it ends. You can lobby for results through a donation or larger group. There’s also the element time and patience waiting for these things to occur, which then impact your life. This doesn’t sound like you have a lot control. Does it?
Let’s focus on the bottom-up approach. What does this mean?
Imagine you took the issues you care about, and the things you’re passionate for and tried to control them in your smaller, local community. How will this pan out? The voting system is similar, minus the electoral college. The situation is different in that a smaller number of votes are cast. The local levels will also offer a smaller range of ideas. The results from a locally instituted policy or decision are more dramatic, and quicker. For example, a local police chief or state DA can change your life faster when compared to a Federal AG or head of DOJ. The ability to raise awareness is easier. Geography and mobility for instance. Also, like-minded folks. They all live in your community so you are trying to convince people to support a cause that they likely experience in their daily life. Macro level politics don’t impact everyone the same way in the country. Therefore, the issues have different prioritization. Local level politics are often shared by the entire community, and prioritized similarly. This sounds like your level of control will be higher. Right?
Let’s go back to the original thought process around control and choices. You can change the community you live in easier than the country live in. The choices and results in your community likely impact you considerably more when compared to what happens in your country. The likelihood of success to control community initiatives is higher when contrasted with country-wide issues.
Devote your time spent researching politics to local issues. The time you have is precious. Focus attention on who will be a potential judge, police chief, or representative in your municipality. Get to know their thoughts and ideas. Do they relate to your and your causes?