I am a triple A control freak. It can be exhausting. It's taken me many years to understand and accept the fact that, indeed, there are some things I cannot control. Believe me, this "acceptance" hasn't come easily.

For example: other people. Why can't they act exactly as I want--no--be honest--as I DEMAND! My wife of 28 years who is no academician, but has a Phd in "lifesmarts" would always say in her lyrical English accent, "Darling, you can't change other people, you can only change how you react to them."

At first this seemed like irritating psychobabble, but then the control-freak in me said, "Wait a minute, clearly I can't control them, but I've got a good shot at controlling me. By Jove, I'll give it a go."

And sometimes it helped. And sometimes it didn't. I had established more control, but not enough acceptance. And then the writer in me said, "When someone else does something that makes you want to pull out your eyebrows, ask yourself this: 'Is this other person acting in character.'"

The answer 100% of the time is YES. Everybody acts in character. And this realization helps me to "let go." Let go of expectations. Let go of disappointment. Let go of hurt and frustration. OK, not completely, but enough to feel like I'm back in control. At least of myself.

Here's the point. Acceptance is difficult to come by. According to the Elizabeth Kubler-Ross 5 stage grief cycle we go through denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance.

I can't tell you how many times I jumped on the express train from anger to acceptance just by assuring myself that the difficult relative or officious bureaucrat, or flaky friend was 'acting in character.'

And then, feeling calmer and in control, I could "change my response" to them accordingly.

These are powerful words, "change" "accept"

Right out of "The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr, which beyond it's original religious underpinnings has come to be used in 12 Step programs as non-denominational spiritual guidance. Using the word, "God" is loaded since so many people interpret divinity differently, but for our purposes, "God" in the following prayer is the higher power, or heightened awareness that isn't "out there" but "deep within you."

"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."

This prayer, this inspirational quote, is a control freak's dream. That which we can't change, we accept; that which we can change, go for it, and get your head on right so you can tell which is which.

And to be fair, it's really out of order. Serenity doesn't come flying out the shoot. In fact, between Serenity, Courage and Wisdom, we're probably going to jump to courage first. Having the courage to overcome inertia and make the necessary changes in our lives. In the process of doing what we can, we quickly find what we cannot.

In terms of fitness and wellness, yes, we can exercise and eat better. Will we look like the cover model of "Eat Your Heart Out" monthly? Probably not. So we let go of that and go for the cover model of "I Look & Feel Incredible For My Age & Body Type" weekly. A little courage, a little wisdom. And eventually, when we have done the work to transform our bodies while engaging our minds, we ultimately boost our spirits and find the kind of self-acceptance that gives us a little Serenity.

Ahhhh....serenity. Until the next challenge!!!

Author's Bio: 

Jerry Colker is the creator of the YODO® Fitness System combining the best of the East and West, utilizing ancient techniques in conjunction with the latest scientifically verified methods. Formerly a competitive gymnast at Harvard University, Jerry is a black belt martial artist, yoga teacher, performance enhancement specialist and Quantum Reflex Analysis™ practitioner. Jerry created the YODO® system after suffering a severe herniated disc. Avoiding surgery, Jerry went through an extensive rehab that provided limited results until he put his 30 years of expertise to work as a competitive athlete, performer, teacher, and coach along with wide-ranging exploration into nutrition, supplementation and the power of the mind. In creating YODO®, Jerry revitalized his health beyond rehab until he was "better than ever" and he has been offering life-changing personalized programs to his clients all over the Los Angeles area. Beneficiaries of the YODO® system range from men and women with little fitness experience to elite athletes. All ages. All levels. Visit Jerry at http://www.yodo.org