This lesson was inspired by "The Serenity Now" episode of Seinfeld that I watched on TV this past week. Since the invention of the wonderful DVR, it's simple to watch as much Seinfeld as you care to commercial free, by just recording every episode in syndication. While I must admit that watching Seinfeld happens to be one of my favorite TV pastimes, it no surprise that the Seinfeld Series has become a phenomenal hit for a multi-generational audience. Just watching the incredible amount of time, energy and thought that was invested into each episode, as illustrated in the "extra's" parts included in the DVD's they sell, reminds me that it wasn't an accident that many of the episodes induced belly laughs as it taught millions of us to lighten up regarding the silliest things that go on in all of our lives. Episode number 159 portrayed how Frank Costanza was advised to say "Serenity Now" aloud, every time his blood pressure was in danger of going up. The funny part was how he yells it in the same manner he yells about most anything in the show, while he's searching for calmness.
If you search for the definition of the noun serenity, you may find the following: Calmness of mind; undisturbed state; coolness; composure. The noun serenity is further described as "the quality or state of being serene" or a state of clearness and calmness; quietness; stillness; and at peace. These are all descriptions of a state of mind that most of us search for throughout our lives, yet find it as difficult to experience as it is to catch a fish in an ocean with our bare hands.
One of the best ways to create more serenity in your life, might be to discover and practice the "Serenity Prayer," which once you realize it's power, your life may change forever. A simple version of the Serenity Prayer can be recited as:
"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."
As an exercise, just take some quality time and think of all the stress and turmoil that may be surrounding your present life, because you keep trying the same failing methods over and over in an effort to change certain people; events; and circumstances around you that are totally out of your control. I would doubt that there is one living human being that does not subject themselves often to this form of self-punishment. By practicing the Serenity Prayer, you are asking a higher power to help you to accept the things that you cannot change rather than struggle daily to continuously and unsuccessfully try to change them. This first part of the prayer can lead to a realization that you can bring more serenity into your life by the power of ACCEPTANCE.
The second and even more powerful part of the prayer asks your higher power to give you the COURAGE to change the things that you are in your control to change. By definition, COURAGE is a quality of spirit that enables you to face danger of pain without showing fear. It takes a great deal of courage to make "the tough decisions" about your life. It's very difficult to remove yourself from a job, a business or a relationship in order to improve your own health, happiness and your future. Our lives often fly by so quickly, that we are too busy to take the time to realize the major sacrifices we make daily for others, only to be rewarded with a lack of respect or feeling of appreciation in return. It takes a great deal of courage, in order to usher calmness and serenity into your life.
The third part of the prayer asks your higher power for the WISDOM to know the difference to understand what you can and can not change. We all think we can conquer any challenge and fix anything that is broken. It takes a higher WISDOM than most of us possess to determine what we can or can not change. However, there is one thing we know for sure, which is we can change our OWN actions and make our OWN decisions regarding our OWN well being, if we are motivated and willing to do so. On the other hand, it's quite certain that we have no control whatsoever to make anyone other than ourselves subject to change. We could give every incentive or punishment in the world to others to change, however if they have no desire or the will to do so, we are fighting a losing battle. So it's best to stick to what is certain, and make our decisions regarding our future around the changes and tough decisions we must make about ourselves.
It's never too late to introduce yourself and practice the "SERENITY PRAYER." It certainly helps if you believe in a higher power than yourself and it's never too late for that either. Life goes by too quickly, to never experience the power that this serenity prayer can provide. Make today "THE DAY" you begin bringing more serenity into your life. And laugh more by enjoying the silliness of Seinfeld and other happy shows, by treating yourself to a DVR as well. Everyone I know was happy they did!