The illusion of control

Great post from Lynn J Kelly on the Buddhist/Stoic concept on the “illusion of control.” Check out Lynn’s blog at

The Buddha's Advice to Laypeople

A foundational practice in both Stoicism and Buddhism is the idea of understanding and accepting that there are some things we can control and many things we cannot.

Once a bridge teacher said to me: “You can only choose from the available choices.” He was talking about bidding in a bridge game, but it occurred to me that this was a valuable mantra, essential when we are struggling to make a decision. We can spend some time and list out, mentally or in writing, what our actual choices are, and changing someone else’s behavior is never on this list. What we want to have happen and what we might do to bring about the desired result are two separate things. Our words and actions are what we do have control over.

As an example, in bridge, you can only bid based on the cards you hold in a particular hand. You…

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