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Quick Thought   Leave a comment

I have a friend who has a favorite statement, “It is what it is.”  The phrase is certainly not his creation, nor is it unique to him, but I would definitely call it his catch phrase.  It’s his go to response when something bad happens.  And it’s a very stoic response.  Good, bad, or ugly a situation is what it is and you just have to accept it as is.

Or do you?  While I appreciate the sentiment, that there’s no use getting mad about a situation that has already happened, it’s not entirely true.  A better way of phrasing the thought would be “It is what you make it.”

Viewing things as “It is what it is” suggests that you have absolutely no control in the situation.  It’s totally beyond you.  But in all situations you always have one absolute level of control, and that’s how you respond to it.

For example, you just got off of work and are ready to head home when you go out to your car and one of the tires is flat.  “It is what it is” reminds you that getting mad about the flat tire doesn’t fix it.  “It is what it is” reminds you that being mad won’t make changing the tire any easier.  In fact, getting mad could make it worse.  Certainly there isn’t anything wrong with responding to the situation with an “It is what it is” attitude and just fixing the flat in peace.

But what if you had an “It is what you make it” attitude?  Instead of this being a flat you just have to take care of, you could view it as a way to test your life skills.  You don’t change the tire very often so now you get to take a moment to show that you are self-sufficient.  You could ask a coworker to stick around and keep you company while you change the tire.  It is what you made it, a chance to socialize with your coworker.  If your coworker can’t stay, is there some problem you’ve been meaning to devote some time to?  If it is what you make it, this time just became thoughtful time to work on that problem.

While accepting things for what they are in an emotionally even way is a good thing, why not choose to take control instead?  It is what it is can be good, but why settle for good?  Choose it to be what you make it to be and make it great.  Have a great day.  Peace.

 

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