Similar Lessons about Success & Serenity: from the Perspectives of a former NFL Wide Receiver and a Theologian

Former NFL wide receiver, Mr. JJ Birden & me, at the Isagenix headquarters in AZ
Former NFL wide receiver, Mr. JJ Birden & me, at the Isagenix headquarters in AZ

In a superb training with Team X 88 leader, former NFL Wide Receiver Mr. JJ Birden, I was reminded of my seminary days.

Surprisingly, this happens often. I am so blessed to be on JJ’s team, and we frequently discuss topics related to values, meaning and mindset.

Mindset plays a tremendous role in whether or not one truly becomes a person of value, and thus fruitful, within network marketing or direct sales. Mindset, attitude, and a commitment to personal development are highly valued.

This particular team training was entitled, “Control What You Control.” JJ covered a list of things: some of which we can control, and others over which we have no control.

My takeaway is that the key to serenity and success is in knowing the difference between the two, and then taking action and living life accordingly.

The lists below do not adequately convey all of the material covered in this expert training, but they are an attempt to share some highlights. While it is geared toward those who work with teams in direct sales, the points are nonetheless applicable when dealing with others in a broader sense.


Things We Don’t Control

The “Why” of our distributors/teammates

The attitudes of others

The “No”s we receive

Whether or not others achieve results

Whether or not team members do their Revenue Producing Activities

Whether or not others invest in themselves & do Personal Development Activities

What the Company does

The longevity of our teammates

What our Upline does or doesn’t do

Things We Do Control

Our “Why,” or our own motivation

Our attitude & the level of our positive energy

Our amount of preparation

Perfecting our skills, learning the system

Whether or not we qualify for advancement

Whether or not we do our Revenue Producing Activities

Whether or not we do Personal Development Activities

Our ability to adapt to what the Company puts in front of us

Staying alert, focused on ourselves, our development & our example for others

This clear, succinct and compelling assessment was quite illuminating for me. It can be so easy to look for blame or excuses, to focus on our disappointments in others rather than to work on ourselves. To learn this distinction is to master Advanced Adult Living at its finest.

When I was in seminary, studying to become a clergywoman, I studied the works of Christian Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971). While his name may not be familiar to many, a certain prayer of his is very well known.

It is called, The Serenity Prayer and anyone who has even a passing understanding of the 12-step program or modern counseling will recognize it:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

While one may or may not embrace the entirety of this prayer, it is hard to take issue with the wisdom of seeking that unique and deep peace which accompanies the ability to “…accept the things (we) cannot change; (develop the) courage to change the things (we) can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

As Wallace D. Wattles puts it, “Do, every day, all that you can do that day, and do each act in an efficient manner.”

This means taking responsibility for our choices, actions and results. If we don’t like our results we need to change what we are doing, not worry about what someone else is or is not doing.

This process is very much like Niebuhr’s prayer and insights about serenity. Whether your goals are to live in minimalist simplicity or magnificent splendor, it is about being true to your own values and doing what is necessary to realize your dreams.

Wattles explains, “Mistakes come from acting hastily, or from acting in fear or doubt, or in forgetfulness of the Right Motive, which is more life to all, and less to none.”

Given all the givens, the above list about what we can and cannot control, as well as the beginning lines of the prayer, give us great guidance for work and life; for serenity and success.

Packed with insights and tremendous wisdom.

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Comments 12 comments

MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

Thanks for sharing such wisdom here. Your list of thing we do and do not control and the serenity prayer are all very meaningful. Good counsel all the way through!


Linda Compton profile image

Linda Compton 3 years ago from The Land of Enchantment Author

Dear Ms. Dora, thank you for your kind and thoughtful feedback. I am so glad you found this hub meaningful. JJ is a remarkable man and leader and I am blessed in so many ways. L.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

Yes, indeedy. It is the way to have peace and happiness in your life at all times. It really is not our job to control others. Perhaps we can counsel and mentor, though...


Linda Compton profile image

Linda Compton 3 years ago from The Land of Enchantment Author

Thanks, Deb! I wholeheartedly agree with you about counseling and mentoring; and believe it is an integral part of leadership. I love what I am doing now. Big difference between being "the boss" and supervising and trying to motivate others who may or may not share my vision (my former life), with now - encouraging and helping to point the way through shared goals and a belief in empowerment. One of the blessings of being a grown-up :) Appreciate you stopping by and taking time to read and comment!


Sueswan 3 years ago

Hi Linda,

"Whether your goals are to live in minimalist simplicity or magnificent splendor, it is about being true to your own values and doing what is necessary to realize your dreams." We all have to find our path in life. Others may lead us to the path but it us that has to walk it."

Voted up +++ and sharing


Linda Compton profile image

Linda Compton 3 years ago from The Land of Enchantment Author

Yes, Susan, you speak a powerful truth. Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read and offer your thoughtful comments. L.


MDavisatTIERS profile image

MDavisatTIERS 3 years ago from Georgia

Thank you so much for this Hub. The Serenity Prayer has been used at every recovery support meeting I've attended for the past 25 years.

It is such a powerful message about acceptance, courage, change and for me personally, it helps remind me specifically to define who's little red wagon is it. ~Marilyn


Linda Compton profile image

Linda Compton 3 years ago from The Land of Enchantment Author

Thank you, Marilyn. I am grateful it spoke to you. I thought is was a rather unorthodox pairing in this hub, and yet for me it truly "works." So proud of you for each year you reach another life-affirming milestone on your health and wholeness life journey :0)

Blessings, L.


JJ Birden 3 years ago

Very nice write up Linda. "control what you control" is one of my favorites?


Linda Compton profile image

Linda Compton 3 years ago from The Land of Enchantment Author

Thanks, JJ. I feel so blessed to be on your Team, and to be in a position to truly help empower others.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

Very wholesome Hub. God bless that you do many more. Peace.


Linda Compton profile image

Linda Compton 2 years ago from The Land of Enchantment Author

Thank you, Manatita44 for your time and kind words. L.

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