Taking Positive Action on What You Can Control
Remember, the things you can control are your own actions, your own thoughts, and your own emotional responses to situations. You control your body. You control your mind.
Throughout any given day, you are given countless choices about what you might do with your time, your money, your energy, and your focus. You decide how you will spend that money. You decide how you will spend that time. You decide how you will spend that energy. You decide how you will spend that focus.
If you make a lot of bad choices, choices that are not in alignment with your big long-term goals, you’re going to get bad results.
If you want to save for the future but then proceed to spend lots of money on clothes and entertainment and hobbies and meals at restaurants, you’re not going to save much for the future. The choices to spend money on clothes and entertainment and hobbies and restaurants are choices you made of your own free will. Yes, there may be other factors in your financial state, but a healthy part of that state are the choices you made, and you can make better ones.
If you want to lose weight but you eat enormous meals or snack all the time or drink calorie-rich beverages, you’re not going to lose weight very quickly if at all. Again, it comes down to choices.
Yes, some choices might be hard – very hard. If they were easy, then everyone would make those choices.
What about the things that are somewhat under your control, like the behavior of your children, your boss, your employees, or your customers? It is well worth your time to learn about how you can best use what you can control to be a positive influence. You can’t fully control your kids, your boss, your employees, your customers, or anyone else in your life, but you can influence them in a positive way.
There are, of course, very different ways to influence the people around you depending on your relative situation. The key thing you can do is recognize what you can influence and what you can’t and what things you can do to maximize your positive influence.
Trent Hamm’s essay is a Stoic review of control – what is in our control and what isn’t. I don’t have much to add other than that if this speaks to you look for some other writings on Stoicism.