Think less about things that are wise not to care about. No need to renounce the world, but know how limited your influence is in certain areas. You will be undisturbed if you focus on tasks that you can achieve. So please, zero in on goals that matter to you.

Do you care too much about the wrong things? Perhaps you are bothered about what may happen in the future. You may invent scenarios that may never even play out. Think of all the events that happened that you could never even have anticipated. Speaking of the future, I love asking kids what they want to be when they grow up, because I’m still looking for ideas. You know what they say: Have hope for the future, but maybe build a bomb shelter anyway.

But truly, if something is not unfolding in the present, you cannot truly deal with it. Is the future pressing upon your mind? You will inevitably cope with what lies ahead, sweet friends. Is the past a realm that you also try to operate in? Are you often occupied by events from former bygone days?

Of course, you may have learned from your past. But our memories tend to be out of our reach at times, and certainly subjective. Do you believe that thinking a lot about that long-ago happening, or re-experiencing the pain, will actually give you some control over it? You’ve perfected over-thinking as an art form? I get it.

More often than not, you could not have prevented many events in your past. Celebrate that you endured a misfortune instead of being destroyed by it. The present is all we truly have access to. Are you aware of this very moment?

When things do not go as we plan, we may become angry or disturbed. Can you prevent your body from getting ill or aging? Heck, once you’re over the hill, you pick up speed. Can you ensure that you will get the dream job you interviewed for? Oh, your dream job is not needing one? Ah. Is there a cosmic guarantee that the girl you wish to go out with wants to date you as well? You must be part squirrel, because you seem to attract all the nuts? Sheesh.

But sincerely, how much can you really control? Your choices, attitudes, and actions are the only things that you can master. Accept and embrace circumstances that you cannot remake or redesign, please. External situations are not predictable. However, how you meet them is all in your hands.

How much does criticism need to hurt you? The degree to which you approve of yourself will determine if you buckle when receiving negative feedback or hurtful comments from others. If you carry within you a sufficient amount of self-acceptance, then you can overcome his condemnation or her reproach and reproof.

No, you are simply not loved by everyone. I know. I yearn to be, as well. Someone’s fault-finding is not an assault on your right to exist, sweet friends. Sometimes it feels as though the whole world is taunting or teasing you. How can you get past that moment of self-hate? Do not allow disapproval and denigration from others to join forces with the self-criticism that exists inside of you. Loving yourself is not vanity. It’s sanity.

If you have inner voices telling you how unfit or unworthy you are, there is certainly no room left to take on the harsh judgments of others. If you’ve been hurt or shamed in the past, naturally you will take disapproval and disparagement to heart. You may feel as though you have the vulnerability of a child. Your vulnerability is not a sign that what the haters say about you is true.

You need to be more on your own side when times get rough. You are not failing in life and you do not deserve mockery or contempt. What defines failure anyway? It is not about being a winner or loser. You may be seen as a cultural pariah simply for having different political views than the masses.

Control your opinions, attitudes, goals, and choices, my friends. Your external conditions may at times be out of hand and ungovernable entirely. Sure, if you have made poor decisions repeatedly, it may predict your level of achievement. But your health – and other life-changing events – still remain uncontrolled.

If you were born in a war-torn country, or were not born particularly brilliant or attractive, you must play the hand you were dealt in this world. You are not a “ne’er do well” or a “good for nothing” underachiever, despite some random cultural norms.

So, you can’t fly first class. Then again, you know what they say: There are only two classes: first class and no class. Speaking of being rich, you know what they say: “A father is someone who carries pictures in his wallet where his money used to be.” But sincerely, try to be indifferent to others’ opinions of you. Judgments are often superficial and based on narrow ideas. Remember, sweet friends, that what you are is not the same as what you are in the estimation of others.

How do you define success? Do not practice bad habits as they will become neurologically wired. Be a morally good person. If you strive for this, then be content with how you live your life. Know what your definition of good and bad is. Don’t know where to start? Simply do something today that your future self will thank you for.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at