I was 15. I wasn't having the easiest time of my life. I was going through puberty, I was confused as to who I was and where my life was going. It wasn't a fun time :O
One day, I came back home from school and found on my desk this book called "7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens" by Sean Covey. It was my mom's gentle way of communicating with her teen daughter who wouldn't listen to a word she had to say. Little did I know, this book has influenced me massively, and changed the way that I acted, reacted, thought and invested my energy - it CHANGED MY LIFE!
It's been more than 15 years since I read that book, but one thing that stuck with me even till now was the following diagram.
At the age of 15, I learned that it would be foolish to dwell in the Circle of NO Control. It hit me hard and from that day on, I decided to ONLY spend my time and energy on the things that are IN the Circle of Control. And I confess, it isn't always easy and I even still, I fail to succeed a lot of the times.
You want an example? I used to worry a lot about things that I said, how I must have looked, how they must have thought of me because of my actions or words. Then I realized that there's nothing I can do about what's already been said and done as that already dwells in the past. I decided that that was in the Circle of No Control. Every time such a thought haunted me, whispering in my ear: "how you acted was childish", "you shouldn't have said that, it sounded stupid" or "you could have done it this way, and not that way", I made a conscious decision to STOP thinking and replaying what happened. I made a conscious decision NOT to spend energy and time on what I could not change.
The first time I did that, it was difficult, but it was a tremendous success for me. It got easier and easier as I practiced living this way. Some things are harder than others, but I encourage you to try.
Every time you find yourself worry about something, stop. PAUSE. And make a CONSCIOUS DECISION to direct your energy to something that is IN the Circle of Control. For example - learn something from that experience, instead of worrying and replaying. Then spend the remaining energy to move on.
It takes the same amount of energy
- worrying and replaying over and over, which won't benefit anyone, especially you
- deciding to stop dwelling on it or feeling embarrassed about it, but learn something constructive from it and move on.
The choice is yours. You have the power to choose between the two.
This means, you have the power to decide how you want to live your life.
This means, you have the power to decide what mood you put yourself into.
This means, you have the power to be happy.
This means, you have the power to control your life.
So empower yourself today. DECIDE for yourself whether you want to dwell in the Circle of No Control, or in the Circle of Control. The choice is YOURS.