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The Power Of Acceptance

“Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.” – Michael J. Fox
Acceptance doesn’t mean you must become a prisoner of your choice, it means you become free because of your choice. Acceptance is a sign of wisdom. Wisdom is knowing the difference between what you have the power to change and the one you can’t change.
It can easily be mistakenly confused as weakness. Surrendering yourself to someone to abuse you or take advantage of you is not the acceptance I am talking about here, that is weakness. Staying stuck in a situation that you once got involved in and using that as a reason for not moving forward is weakness too and that’s not what I am talking about here.
 
Living a fulfilled life means to gain awareness of three distinct stages in life.
The first stage is awareness and acceptance of the things that you can’t change, like people, weather conditions, seasons of the year, day and night, death, and the list goes on and on.
 
The second stage is having the courage to change the things that you can change. The courage for me is to have the ability to set goals, make sacrifices, expose yourself to be criticized for being different, eccentric and crazy, to identify the most important things in your life and focus your attention on them.
 The third stage is to have the wisdom to know the difference between the first stage and the second stage. When you look at the serenity prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr, it talks about Serenity (Acceptance), Courage and Wisdom. You need to understand that these are the three distinct or separate stages and they shouldn’t be confused. This simply means that Acceptance has its time and place; courage also, has its time and place; and wisdom is the ability to know whether it’s time and place for acceptance or a time and place for courage. Don’t let this confuse you. For instance, being resigned to a situation that can and should be changed is not acceptance but complacency. On the other hand, trying to change something that is just a fact like stopping the rain, is not courage but foolishness.
Therefore, you don’t want to use acceptance to deal with situations that really call for courage and you don’t want use courage to deal with situations that call for acceptance.
 The world is a better place today than it was many years ago because men and women of substance accepted it for what it is and used courage to come up with inventions that made it much better. They accepted that they couldn’t stop the rain and instead of complaining, they invented the umbrella and the raincoat. They accepted that they couldn’t change the night and they invented electricity and brought in light.
 
The problem is that self-deception, denial and our inherent prejudices make it hard for us to tell these kinds of stages apart. Sometimes we trick ourselves into just accepting something that is really our responsibility to take care of because we are afraid of dealing with it. I hope this finds its place in your heart and make you realize that you have gifts and talents far beyond your imagination. I was born to help you realize this.
 
Veli Ndaba is a leadership and Insightful Speaker, Life-Coach and Neuro- Linguistic Programming Practitioner, Author of two books (You Are Born to Win and Your Dream is Calling You), Newspaper Columnist and Entrepreneur. To book him to help you and your team unleash your greatness, contact him on veli@velindaba.co.za, www.velindaba.co.za and 083 304 9773 

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