The quote is from a book I am reading by Kegan. The author has different moral and spiritual values than I, but I agree with Kegan concerning what we can take responsibility over and what we cannot.
The Serenity Prayer conveys a similar understanding.
"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference."
This prayer was originally untitled and attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr, a theologian who included it in a sermon on Practical Christianity in 1937. Alcoholics Anonymous have adopted this prayer into their program since 1942.
Wisdom will let you know the difference between accepting the wind or not and changing your sails or not.
The rest of the “Serenity Prayer” that is lesser known.
"Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
The Lord is making all things right, including you and I, as we surrender to His will. The more we surrender the greater happiness we experience in this life.
What changes are you making that require courage?
What things are you accepting that require serenity?