Mindfulness

Focus on What You Can Control and You Will Be Better Off

coc2.png

(Image 1, Circle of Control)

Happiness as far as we know it, a sense of control. Although much in life is beyond our control, our minds still love the illusion of control and there are indeed many things we can control. When we focus to that which we can control we are happier.

A simple tool for this, I call it circle of control. Original author is kind of hard to track down, my coach Jari Sarasvuo told me that he had learned this from US professor Jim Lawson. My quick research on Google does not provide much matches with this. Instead like I wrote earlier on Dealing with Excuses it seems Stephen Covey has at least managed to popularize the concept.

In either case, I stand in the shoulders of giants. However, instead of purely relying what was out there, I’ve combined from all my notes this circle of control (image 1), which I feel serves you a lot better than what does the versions I did find on Google image search does.

Idea of this tool is simple: focus your time to the proactive action, to the things you can control and are important. Another great lesson I learned while going through the notes for this model: the internal dialogue of each circle is different. So listen to yourself, don’t you waste your energy on blaming others or even satisfy yourself with explanations that you are not good enough.

For further study about internal dialogue on each levels, I recommend to start with Martin Seligman’s Learned Optimism.

Now since we now, that we should focus on the things we can control, the next challenge is live in the present and our ability to direct our focus.

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