Thursday, February 23, 2012

Three Circles

First of all, thank you for stopping by.  There are so many things that compete for your attention, I’m grateful you take a moment to stop by here and see what is going on.

Along those lines there is so much stuff coming at us all day long.  Advertising, music, news, hobbies, family, work, school, and the list can go on, and on, and on…..

With so much coming in, how do you filter what needs your attention?  The other day I was talking with a friend about what you can control.  He was telling me about three circles.  Picture a target, with a bull’s eye in the center, and another circle outside of it, and a third circle outside of that one.  The outermost circle is worry.  Worry kills productivity and happiness. 

Several years ago two of my Sister-in-Laws got married on the same day.  Needless to say my Mother-in-law was a nervous wreck.  The day of the double reception came and she was worried about all sorts of things.  I pulled her aside and asked her what was wrong.  She told me about this and that, things she had no control.  I asked her what she could control.  She said she wanted to know about the cakes.  So I had her call the cake folks and find out what was going on.  Once I had her focused on things she could check on and control she was able to calm down.

The second inner circle, inside of the worry is concern.

There are a lot of things we are concerned about, but much like worry there may not be a lot we can do about it.  Concern makes us focus more in on the issues, but we cannot always control or change anything that concerns us.  We have to deal with it.

The inner most circle is influence.  Influence are things we can control and deal with. 

Years ago I had a boss who was demanding and wouldn’t listen.  Most of the folks that worked with him would just complain about the situation.  I decided complaining about things didn’t help the situation.  When I was given something to do that had unrealistic expectations I took the assignment and worked on it.  Then I went back to the boss and told him what I had done, and gave him options that could work.  The boss nodded and agreed, and we made a different course to travel.  After a while he would ask my opinion on things.  I began to have influence with him. 

Complaining, worrying, stewing, and the like just spins wheels.  Things don’t get done, and the situation just gets worse.  Focus on what you influence.  Work on how you can influence things.  Then that inner circle grows and the other circles become narrow and not as big of an influence. 

On a target, the bulls eye is what everyone aims at.  Influence in the center is what needs to be aimed at.  What can be controlled should be the focus of activities.  By being positive and looking for ways to get things done, influence grows.

Influence is important.  The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the 'Peanuts' comic strip.

You don't have to actually answer the questions.

Just read the questions straight through and you'll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.

4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.  These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields.

But the applause dies…

Awards tarnish.  Achievements are forgotten.  Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz.  See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special!!

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson:

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials… the most money...or the most awards.

They simply are the ones who care the most.

'Don't worry about the world coming to an end today.  It's already tomorrow in Australia!'

''Be Yourself.  Everyone Else Is Taken!"

What can you focus on?  Where and what do you influence?  How can you push worry out of your life?  How can you deal with concerns?

1 comment:

Terri Bruce said...

Thank you for this post - I like this a lot and am only just learning to focus more on what I can influence, than what I can't. I've been an "outside" locus of control person - I feel like I have no control. But that's not true. There are lots of little things I have control over and after a while, those can add up to big things. You're so right in the way you "managed" your boss - you reduced your stress and increased both his and your control, by presenting options on the things you could influence.