Identify what we can control

During our daily lives, there are many situations which, on the surface seem to be requiring us to make decisions and take some kind of action. Many of us have a tendency to act first and ask questions later, but there is a question we need to ask before making any commitment to act. This is “is this within my control?”.

A question of control

Before rushing in and getting involved, we need to pause for a moment and ask ourselves whether we actually have any control over the situation or any power to actually make a change.

Ask the question: Is this within my control?

Another way of asking this is: Am I able to make a change in this area? or Do I have any influence over this situation?

If the answer is ‘No’, then just accept it as it is,  let it go and then move on to situations that are within our control.

Make two lists

As a guide, it might be helpful to develop a list of some things that we don’t have any control over. For example:

  • the past
  • other peoples thoughts and actions
  • other peoples bad driving
  • the weather
  • sickness and aging

and then to make a list of some things we do have control over. For example:

  • my opinions
  • the choices I make and the actions I take
  • setting my own goals
  • making decisions to achieve my goals
  • ignoring distractions that are keeping me from focusing on what I have chosen as being  important

Accept and let go

If we can develop the habit of accepting and letting go of what is outside our control and focusing our effort on what we do have control over, we will be significantly less stressed and also more productive.

Remember – we may not control a situation but we can control what we think about it and through this, we can choose how to act

What’s next

Now it’s your turn to begin writing your lists. Start with what you don’t have control over and then move to what you do.

Feel free to leave a comment or share your list below.

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