problem solving

7 Things To Do About What You Can’t Fix

Tourists are terrified!

They tread over the glass walkway at China’s Tianmen Mountain.

This ‘sky walk’ like experience gives tourists terrifying thrills across the 200 ft long and 4700 ft high bridge as they look down into the peaks of smaller mountains and surrounding national park below.

The best thing they can do at this situation is to JUST DON’T LOOK DOWN.

It’s as simple as that.

The same advice helps answer this important question:

What can be done about the things you can’t fix?

The answer simply is: Don’t look at them.

Here are 7 effective things you can do about what you can’t fix:

1. Focus on Your Circle of Influence

In his bestselling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey coined two interesting terms. One is “The Circle of Concern” and the other is “The Circle of Influence”

The circle of concern includes anything that concerns you in life. For example, if you have a job, you might be concerned about the impact of the economic crisis on the future of your company.

The circle of influence includes anything that is directly under your control. These are the things that you can actually change or do something about. For example, you can simplify your life, decrease your needs and start saving a year’s worth of living expenses as a backup for any unexpected layoffs.

Don’t focus about the things you can’t fix and shift your focus to the things you can…and they are many! People look at what they can’t do as an excuse for not finding the time and exerting the effort to do what they can and should do.

“Whether you believe you are here for a reason or you create the reason as you go along, the same holds true: Life is full of things you can’t fix. In front of you every day are things that you can. Those are the things you should worry about.” – Chris Guillebeau

2. Produce More Art

For example, if you created a product that didn’t sell very well, don’t cry over spilt milk. Produce more products. Create more art.

Steve McCurry has shot over a million images spanning 35 years and only one photo took all the fame. It is the photo of Sharbat Gula or the “Afghan Girl”. This one photograph has been linked to Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of the Mona Lisa. In addition, the photo was named “the most recognized photograph” in the history of the National Geographic magazine.

Be prolific!

3. Help More People

Use what you already have in hand to produce more value and help more people. The more people you help, the more successful you become.

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” 

– Albert Einstein

Don’t complain about shortage of resources or means. You can add tremendous value to other people’s lives by using the simplest resources.

Hassan Menawi from Jordan invented a new musical instrument that he uses to play amazing music that entertains people to the max. Do you know what this new instrument is?

It is a straw! Yes, a normal straw that we all use to drink our favorite juices.

See him in action here…

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That’s the ultimate form of “Less Is More”

4. Look for The Opportunity In Disguise

Usually, the best opportunities in life are packaged in adversity or difficulty.

Your greatest successes always precede your greatest failures.

When you can’t fix something, look for the hidden opportunity.

I spent 9 years trying to build a profitable passion business beside my 9 to 5 job. All my attempts failed. I built a business, but it was not consistently profitable. That’s why I decided to quit my job and focus all my energy on my passion. And that was the best decision I made in my life so far.

My unsuccessful trials pushed me to the freedom zone and what a great opportunity it was.

“Unexpected support begins to show up when you’re so aligned with what you’re supposed to be doing, doors open in ways you couldn’t have predicted.”

 – From The Passion Test by Janet and Chris Attwood.

5. Spend More Quiet Time Alone

When you try everything and all fail, it might be the perfect time to do nothing!

Just stop and take a time off. Give yourself sometime to relax and recharge your batteries.

Spend more time alone, preferably in nature. This will help you regain clarity about your situation and usually an answer shows up unexpectedly.

6. Ask for Help

Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Ask people for help. Friends like to help each others. Don’t you feel good when you give a hand to someone? The, why do you want to deprive others from that good feeling?

Stop thinking that you can’t ask for help because you can’t return the favor. You’re already doing the person you are seeking help from a favor. You’re allowing him to feel generous and to be proud of him or herself.

You can’t know everything about everything. Seek help from others when you need it. Put your ego aside and give yourself and others the opportunity to give and receive generosity.

7. Learn Something New

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

– Albert Einstein

Sometimes, we need to upgrade our mindset and skill set to be able to face our new problems.

When you learn something new, you stretch your mind and skills. This way you increase your ability to deal with new problems. Don’t stop learning. Otherwise, you’ll not be able to fix today’s simplest problems.

Remember, don’t look down at the Tianmen Mountain! Otherwise, you’ll get terrified.

Don’t focus on what you can’t fix. Otherwise, you’ll lose hope.

There are many things that you can do something about. It’s enough to worry about them.


Mohamed Tohami is a bestselling author and the creator of “The P.A.S. Technique: The World’s Easiest Way To Find Your Passion and Purpose In Life”. Click here to join his upcoming FREE life purpose coaching online class.

{Photo Credit: © dingyun juan, courtesy tianmenshan}

18 Responses to 7 Things To Do About What You Can’t Fix

  1. I cannot stress enough how useful this post is!

    As creatures of comfort often times we tend to find one excuse after another, to the point where we are maintaining status quo,  or even worse retrograde.

    And putting the focus on the things we can actually directly affect is the only solution I guess. Then we are rendering ourselves from excuses, all the while focusing on something that can be implemented on the short term.

    I recently wrote a post about making daily to do lists that delves deeper into being successful when creating them. Here is the link

    About that “alone time” you mentioned… This can serve as a refresh to the mind and body from the hectic lifestyle almost everyone is going through nowadays. I practice this from time to time, and gives a great improvement when it comes to focus, giving birth to creativity and inspiration, and clarity of mind. Even Robin Sharma talks a great deal about the benefits this can have on the individual.

    Loved the quote from Einstein in the end :) It’s true, we tend to change our perception and even mindset after having new and different experiences.

    Once again, great post Mohamed.

  2. If there is one post that any one wants to read today, this is the one. Many people get entrenched to their problems and never looks for opportunity beyond the problem. This post outline exactly what people needs to look out for when they meet a problem.

  3. Thanks a lot Slavko for your insightful comment. This ‘Alone Time’ can do wonders! That’s one of the reasons I like traveling a lot. I once read this quote “Change of scenery begets change of thought”.

  4. Oh! Thanks a lot. I feel flattered by your comment.

  5. Nicely written and I love the specific ideas to get started.  Well done.

  6. Nicely written and I love the specific ideas to get started.  Well done.

  7. Thanks Lorraine. I’m glad you like it.

  8. Natalie says:

    Thank You for this post. It contains a few tips I hadn’t heard before.

    Since I already spend too much time alone the points about helping more people was relevant for me.

    I’d like to expand on number 2.   This can also be taken a bit more literal. Expand your creative mind with drawing, painting, wood working, building. Anything that is a challenge for you. It can help change your perspective, and bring you new ideas.

  9. As nature lover I definitely relate to this quote :) Traveling makes a lot of sense for clarity of mind now when I think about it.

  10. Grady Pruitt says:

    As a server, one of the hardest things I’ve had to learn was when to ask for help.  You don’t have to do everything yourself.  In fact, the best time to ask for help isn’t when you’re in the middle of a crisis — it’s before the crisis even develops.  

    I also like the idea of focusing on the things that are in your circle of influence.  Although it sounds simple, recognizing what you can really influence does go a long way to helping you to accepting what you can change and what you cant.

    Thanks for sharing!

  11. Totally agree Natalie. That’s a great idea. Any creative work can bring new ideas easily.

  12. You raised a very important point Grady. We must be aware of what we can influence and what we can’t. I believe one of the things that we can definitely influence is our own self development. It pays a lot.

  13. Yiye Zhang says:

    For me, it’s like dance with Universe really. Once we have done our part, we surrender our control. We make our decision and decide “what”, the Universe will meet us half way. As soon as I let go, sychoncity normally kicks in. Life is full of surprise and we are never alone!

  14. Goalstribe says:

    Great list! It is really important to identify the things we cannot change so it won’t hold us down in changing the things we can.

  15. It is really surprising how life works. The more we live and are open to experience life fully, the more we learn about its secrets.

  16. That’s very true. If we shift our focus to what we can change, we might be able to influence what we can’t change too.

  17. Suzanne says:

    I like that you quit your job to pursue your passion. That is a true testament of following your intuition and of course your passion. I am happy you are living your dream!

  18. Wow, that’s great. Thanks
    for sharing about “7 Things To Do About What You Can’t Fix”. Great article with excellent ideas! I appreciate your
    post. Thanks so much and let keep on sharing your stuffs.


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