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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Live by the Serenity Principle

Are you familiar with the "Serenity Prayer"? It was (probably) written by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr in the middle of the 20th century, and has been popularized through its use by Alcoholics Anonymous and similar programs.

It goes like this:

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.

Psychologist and author Joseph Bailey expanded this into a book back in 1990 and called it The Serenity Principle. I like that, making it a principle to live by, using one's own inner strengths, rather than a cry for help.

Notice again the three parts:

  • Peace needed for acceptance of fixed conditions
  • Inner strength needed to change what we can
  • Wisdom needed to know what to do

So starting today, nurture your own serenity, courage, and wisdom.

You'll be happier.

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