Control What We Can Control

Adrian S. Potter
3 min readNov 13, 2021

Let’s follow our passions and create something good.

Photo by Arun Clarke on Unsplash

The Secondhand Inspiration Project begins with a motivational quote and ventures wherever the creative path meanders.

“We are born without choosing to, to parents we haven’t chosen, into bodies and borders we haven’t chosen, to exist in a region of spacetime we haven’t chosen for a duration we don’t choose. As physicists know, we don’t choose the particular atoms that constellate our particular selves or the neural configurations that fire our consciousness. In consequence, as James Baldwin knew, we don’t even choose whom we love.

But amid our slender repertoire of agency are the labels we choose for our labors of love — the works of thought and tenderness we make with the whole of who we are.”

- Maria Popova

Let’s inventory everything we have endured in the past couple of years — polarizing political tensions, the ongoing Coronapocalypse, social anarchy, fractured leadership, environmental fragility, and rising concerns for the future.

Society has veered off-track, with destiny teetering on the precipice of uncertainty. We have become reluctant tightrope walkers crossing on a thin strand of optimism — one misstep and balance will feel urgent and irrelevant all at once.

Now more than ever, far too much of life seems out of our control.

Yet, if we obsess over this, we will get dragged into the undertow of depression and frustration. In the face of struggles, we are not just expected to remain resilient. We also must forge our identities and determine what gives us happiness and serenity.

We cannot control the madness of the world. But we can regulate our reactions and attitudes. Instead of joining in the destruction like everybody else, we should revisit our missions — our labors of love — to navigate us through the chaos.

The primary way to limit the impacts of negativity is by focusing on moving the needle in the proper direction.

Write a new song. Develop an app. Build a deck. Learn a foreign language. Whatever it might be, we should identify activities that we cherish and piggyback on them to weather the storm rising around us.

Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity ·