I believe that things you can control, you should. As for the things you cannot control, you should not worry about them. There’s nothing you can do to influence things you can’t control anyway.

There are numerous things in this world that we cannot control:

  • The weather
  • The Traffic
  • Your Genetics
  • What others do
  • What others say

There also exist a small list of things you can control:

  • Your actions
  • Your emotions
  • Your thoughts
  • Your words

If you take a look at the small list of things you can control, they all have one thing in common…YOU. Nothing has control over you, except for you. For better or for worse, you are the captain of your own ship.

Tony Robbins, the world-renowned motivational speaker and life coach, is a huge proponent in controlling your thoughts. He vigorously exclaims that happiness is a choice, and I agree with him 100% on that point.

You can prepare for the worst and anticipate the unexpected, but you will never be able to fully control a situation or any external factors. Sometimes the universe is not on your side. Sometimes it feels like everything is working together solely to see you fail.

At times like that, you need have full control of your emotions, thoughts, and actions in order to prevail.

This past weekend, I experienced such a situation. Thankfully, I controlled my emotions, embraced my situation, and focused on my experience.

My experience watching Hamilton

My girlfriend and I recently watched the Hamilton Traveling show in San Francisco this past weekend. I know what you’re thinking…How are you really going to complain about seeing Hamilton?

Hear me out. As we listened to the Hamilton Soundtrack on Spotify the Saturday before, I had a premonition about how it would suck if a tall couple sat right in front of us. For some context, my girlfriend and I are relatively the same height at 5’4” (164cm). As I mentioned before, you cannot control your genetics. #ThanksMomandDad #ShortPeopleProblems 

Generally speaking, height is not a factor in theaters, old or new, because the seats are built on an incline to help give people further back a better vantage point. That is unless, you are sitting behind two abnormally tall individuals. Like we did.

Now I’m terrible at judging heights, because most people I meet are taller than me. This couple was exceptionally tall. I estimate that the gentleman was at least 6’3” (193 cm) and the lady was at least 5’11” (180 cm).

My girlfriend and I sat Stage Left (or right side of the stage from the audience’s perspective). The head and shoulders of the tall couple impeded my view of the stage. Luckily I was able to watch the musical through a window in between the head and shoulders of the people.

Unfortunately, every time the gentleman would lean in to speak to the lady,  he directly blocked my view. I had to reposition myself to find a new “window” whenever this happened. Additionally, every time he sipped water, which felt like 1,000,000 times during the performance, he would block my view of the stage. I’m sure I looked like a boxer with all the head movements I was making.

Typically boxers use head movements to avoid punches. I resorted to head movements to find the best view during the musical. Source: wikiHow

To make matters worse, there was someone to the right of me that sang through every song. I was amazed that they knew the songs word-for-word, but I was more annoyed that they chose this venue  and time to showcase their talents. Their sing-along was highly distracting. I did my best to ignore it, but I couldn’t help but keep looking over to see if I could spot the person singing.

At this point, I had two options: Get annoyed and let the negativity take over or be grateful and appreciative that I’m witnessing a fantastic performance. Thankfully I was able to focus on the musical.

No “Negative Nancies” here

When the couple sat down initially sat down in front of us, my girlfriend and I looked at each other like “You can’t be serious!?” Early on, even before the musical, I succumb to the fact that I could change our situation. The theater was sold out, so moving seats was out of the question, and I didn’t think I would need a booster seat, but hindsight is 20/20.

My beautiful girlfriend and I in front of the Hamilton wallpaper outside of the theater.

As for the annoying audience member, there was not much I could have done. I could not perform detective work without disrupting everyone else around me, including my girlfriend. Alas, I had to endure the sound of a little whispering echo throughout the duration of the performance.

It would have been easy to complain about the experience, to be frustrated that the gentleman’s large head kept blocking my direct line of sight of the stage, or that the person who was singing along was ruining my experience.

However, where does complaining get me? Nowhere productive that’s for sure. Complaining in the moment would have ruined my experience and upset my girlfriend. Complaining after the fact is a waste of time, and I want to remember the experience for the musical I enjoyed!

Sorry control freaks, but there will never be a situation where you can control everything. However, you will always be able to your thoughts, your actions, your words, and your emotions in any situation.

I understand that sometimes controlling your emotions is extremely difficult, but I believe that however you choose to react to a scenario will greatly impact your experience.

Readers, when was the last time you were able to overcome an inconvenient circumstance by thinking more positively?