I can’t believe how much feedback I had about last weeks newsletter. It was all about you being the one who can choose how you spend your time and who you choose to spend it with. Apparently that resonated with a whole lot of you.
I think the message would have resonated in the past as well, but in a time where we feel like so much is out of our control, it is empowering to realize that there are still some things that we can and SHOULD control.
So, I thought I would continue along that same line, and talk a bit more about control…
One of the most impactful books I ever read was the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. There were so many life lessons in there for me. Not the least of which was the importance of CONTROLLING YOUR CONTROLLABLES.
Sometimes we think we are in control (you can replace the words ‘in control’ with ‘responsible for’) of everything, but if there is anything we have learned over the last 20 months its that in reality, we only have control over some of what goes on in our lives and in the lives of those around us.
Sometimes we have full control. Every so often we have partial control and a lot of the time we have no control.
And in order to preserve the few mentally healthy brain cells we all have left, it is essential we have the wisdom to know the difference. This way we can decide how to best act and respond to situations, as well as to learn when to let go of those situations we have no control over.
Spoiler alert: There is one thing we have full control over, and that is how we respond to situations.
In sports you have full control of your sportsmanship and how much you hustle. But even if you hustle, it doesn’t mean you will get a goal every time. You might be the next Lionel Messi but they may have an incredible goal keeper that knows how to be in the right place at the right time. And even if you play by the rules, it doesn’t mean someone else won’t push the boundaries of what is acceptable when the ref isn’t looking.
In life you have full control of how present you are with your family, how much time you spend on social media, how kind you are to strangers, whether you show up to your personal training session, if you sincerely apologize for a wrong doing. But you have no control over if someone is going to cut you off on the highway or accept your apology.
In COVID you have full control of wearing your mask, being respectful of distance, eating healthy, exercising regularly and reaching out to those who need more support during this time. But you have no control if someone else is going to do these things or if they close the schools or limit the capacities despite all the community effort to stop this virus in its tracks.
I believe it is absolutely critical that you take stock of what you can control.
Your thoughts, your attention, your effort, your attitude, your commitment are all things you have control over. You also have control over:
- Who you spend your time with
- How you spend your time
- How you respond to certain situations
- How present you are when with other people
- How much time you spend staring at screens
- What time you go to bed and get up in the morning (notice I didn’t say sleep…)
- How much you exercise
- How deeply and slowly you breathe
- What and how much you eat and drink
- How grateful you are
- How you treat people
- Whether you show up or not
- The energy you bring into a room
So that thing that’s been waking you up in the night or taking your focus away during the day? Figure where you are trying to control the uncontrollable, realize that is inherently adding to your stress and wasting your time, and decide to let that go and spend all that extra time and energy on controlling the controllable instead.
Have a great week everyone.