“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Trying to decide your next course of action can be a real challenge if you are not clear on what belongs to God (the things I cannot change), and what belongs to you (the things I can).
Knowing the difference can enormously influence your decision-making.
Taking action over a situation when you have no power or control is wrong, and will only lead to anger and frustration. You cannot act on a circumstance directly; you can only work on yourself. Is it not apparent that the only thing you have control over is yourself?
Another rendering of the Serenity Prayer may help to clarify: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the ones I can, and the wisdom to know that it’s me.”
So, how will we know we have increased wisdom?
I call it clarity.
We have been so fuzzy in our thinking – not really knowing what we wanted. We had blurred lines instead of clear boundaries. We would find ourselves in certain situations without really knowing what to do.
Most of the time we just floundered.
Wisdom and clarity go hand in hand. If wisdom is the ability to make good decisions, then clarity is the necessary prerequisite. You can’t be fuzzy in your thinking when you make a decision. And good decisions are not made by accident.
There’s nothing mysterious about wisdom. Get clear on the things over which you have control and the things for which you are responsible. Wisdom will follow naturally.