In the midst of crisis or major change, it’s not unusual to feel at odds. As you decide how to navigate your course forward, here’s a process to help you sort things out and strategically determine the best way to spend your time, thought, and energy.
What Is Completely Outside Your Control?
There are a lot of things that are likely out of your control. For instance, the stock market and the stock of paper goods available today at any given store. In such cases, it’s likely we will need to adapt.
What Is Within Your Control?
Yet there are always things within our control. We make choices every day as to what we focus on and how we think and act.
Where Might You Have Influence?
There are also many things over which we don’t have complete control but might be able to exercise some level of choice and influence. This includes many of the decisions made within organizations and families.
To illustrate this, here are is an example related to an issue most of us face: Personal Finance
- Outside Control: The overall US and Global Economy, Stock Market fluctuations, decisions by The Fed
- Within Control: Budgeting, Electing Automatic Contributions to a 401k, Upgrading Knowledge of Personal Finance, Getting Financial Advice or Support if needed, Monitoring and Adjusting Investments, Acquiring Appropriate Insurance
- Influence: Getting Agreement with Family Members on the Household Budget, Taking Steps likely to Boost Your Credit Score
Make a List
With what you are facing, what seems to fall in each category? Go ahead, Make a list for each.
Notice how full each list is. Do you feel that more things are within your control or influence, or outside? If you find more outside, take a step back and ask yourself what aspects might be within your control or sphere of influence. (Sometimes we forgo pursuing influence or taking control because we feel the trade-off of time, thought, or effort required is just not worth the potential gain. That may be appropriate, as long as we recognize that it is in fact a choice.)
Then, for your most important issues, plan your strategy.
Take Charge of What You Control
- Examine Your Choices
- Direct Your Attention Strategically
- Think Constructively
- Plan & Prepare
- Form Healthy Habits
- Take Action
- Learn & Adjust
Exercise Your Influence
- Build Relationships
- Explore Opportunities
- Generate Solutions
- Negotiate Win-Win Agreements
Adapt to Important Factors Outside Your Control
- Be Alert and Informed
- Plan Accordingly
- Work Within the System
- Watch for Changes
- Don’t Obsess
I hope you find this useful both today and as you create your best future.
© New Century Leadership LLC 2020