You are the Sovereign of your realm.
You are supreme ruler, the one who has the ultimate power over everything that is within your reign- and none outside it. Your occasional feeling of powerlessness comes from your attempt to exert power over things that are beyond your control.
Your reign extends over your Circle of Influence. You have influence and control over the things/ issues which lie in this circle. You can change things here when they no longer serve you. Beyond it lies your Circle of Concern. The things/ issues in this circle might impact you, they may compel you to alter your course or to adapt to its limitations. You may wish that you could change them; you may wish that your influence extended over this area but you don’t. Things which are in your Circle of Concern will never be a part of your reign. It is very important to accept this.
You can, however, try to expand your Circle of Influence.
You do that by focusing your energy and effort on the things you can control. You can’t control someone spilling a cup of coffee on you but you can control how you will respond to the mishap. You may choose to be deeply upset over it and let it spoil your mood for hours on end, stalk around like a grumpy bear and scare the living daylights out of anyone unfortunate enough to cross your path. Or you can get exasperated for a minute or two, bounce out of it and carry on with your day having put it behind you. It really doesn’t make sense to throw good money after bad. And time is a lot more precious than money, isn’t it?
I cannot always control what goes on outside. But I can always control what goes on inside.
~ Wayne Dyer
As you concentrate more and more on the things you can control instead of on things beyond your control, you will find your Circle of Influence expanding.
If your house catches fire, you drop everything you are doing and get to work dousing the flames. This is the natural course of action. An event happens, you respond to it. This makes you Reactive.
If you were Proactive, however, you would spend extra time and effort at the time of planning your house (under your control) to take all reasonable precautions against your house catching fire. You would also plan your fire- fighting strategy (also under your control) so that if, despite your precaution, your house does catch fire, you would be able to control it with minimum loss of time, effort and assets.
When you focus on the things which lie in your Circle of Influence, you move forward rapidly. There is no point agonizing over things on which you have no influence. Try to insulate and protect yourself from such things to a reasonable extent. Beyond reasonable precaution- Let Go; Let God.
Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.
~ Thomas à Kempis
You really don’t have time to waste, grumbling over why people don’t do things the way you want them to, or why the whole world doesn’t recognize its duty to make you happy. You will never reach your North Star if you keep flopping down again and again to blame you grandparents, parents, genetics, spouse, children, boss, colleagues, subordinates, the weather and your dog/ cat/ pet donkey.
You are the Sovereign of your realm. Go rule!
How would your life be different if…You stopped worrying about things you can’t control and started focusing on the things you can? Let today be the day…You free yourself from fruitless worry, seize the day and take effective action on things you can change.
~ Steve Maraboli
A very relevant topic of discussion here for me Dagny. Thank you for this. It’s strange that Circle of Influences of different people do intersect and that for me can be botha pain area as well as an area which fosters growth.
I first learned of the Circle of Influence concept from a Steven Covey course I did over 15 years ago. It’s made life a whole lot easier. Letting go and gong with the flow are things I love doing most.
I learned of the concept from him too. From his Seven Habits book. 🙂
Oh Fantastic ! So well said. I can come back to this post again and again and feel motivated !
Thank you Ruchira!
“You really don’t have time to waste, grumbling over why people don’t do things the way you want them to, or why the whole world doesn’t recognize its duty to make you happy. ” – I like this very much 🙂 Yeah, what makes us this egoistic (I suppose it is ego itself!) that we begin to believe that eveyrone, the whole world exists to make us happy! Really, how stupid it is when we think about it. Another inspirational piece, reminding us to be proactive when/if we can and to an extent that is possible, and at some point letting it go. So much of energy is wasted in trying to control every little detail, every little aspect of life- sometimes I get exhausted just thinking about it. So easy to just let go 🙂 But I guess, like everything else here too balance is the key.
Thank you Beloo! You’ve summed up the essence of the post so well. 🙂
You know my husband keeps telling me that I should not fret over things that are not in my control but I still get so upset with those…Wonderful read again Dagny
S for Safe-Random Thoughts Naba
Well I guess you’ll learn as you go along. 🙂
More often than not ,it is knowing the subtle difference between things we can control & those we cannot .And yet ,there is a tendency to confuse one for the other & feel miserable.
Inspiring read !
This is the first time that I have heard of the Circles of Influence and Concern. They remind me of the Serenity Prayer, knowing the things you can change and the things you cannot, and the difference. One of the many things I like about your posts, Dagny, is that much as you emphasise the power of the individual and the inner strength we have to make our own life, the power of a good attitude, and other positive weapons in the human arsenal, you also emphasis trust in God. And that absolutely seals the deal for me.
Your comment has made me smile Cynthia. I’m not surprised to know what seals the deal for you… I am only very glad we find such exquisite resonance with each other’s thoughts and world- views. Thank God for you girl!
We know what is good for us and what we must do, yet we are mere humans that we tend to get carried away. Self control needs practice.