10 Categories to Focus on What You Can Control
Focusing on what you can control is not rugged individualism nor selfishness nor caring only about a very small circle or very narrow window. It’s not about circling the wagons, building the wall, or chasing the myth of self-made.
Rather, focusing on what you can control is more like what we mean when we say “be the change you wish to see in the world.” It’s about finding your connection to the whole and finding the place where you can and desire to make an impact. Your impact can be on yourself and immediate family and friends, or it can be on your community, clients, or The World.
1. Your Time
You don't have a time management problem. You have a time prioritization problem. Only you can control your priorities.
One of the most liberating moments in your life is the moment you realize that you control your time.
2. Your Money
Don't walk into work afraid that you might get laid off. Walk in confident that if you get laid off, you're going to be OK.
Real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and Car Salesmen don't have your best interests in mind. You be the one to decide what you can afford.
Money is a story.
3. Your Circle of People
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
– Jim Rohn
My path, as well as yours, has been littered with people moaning about their job, the boss, the teacher, their wife, money, the government, and their various physical problems. Problems, problems, problems, and always someone else’s fault. Each of them blaming others and trying to park me with them at the corner of bitch and moan.
It goes the other way also. Fill your circle with people you admire, find interesting, make you feel good, and push you to be better. Borrow other's belief until you believe it yourself.
4. Your Health
Don't outsource your health.
It’s not your parent's and ancestors’ fault, it’s not your doctor’s fault, it’s not the system’s fault (ok, it is a little bit the system's fault), and for sure it’s not the government’s fault.
It’s the things you do regularly, not occasionally that make the difference. Forget about Thanksgiving and birthday dinners or vacations. Work on what you eat and how you move every day.
Your health = genetics + what you eat + how you move
You control 2/3 of that equation.
5. Your Self Talk
Your past, present, and future are a collection of stories. Stories are about emotions, not facts. Tell yourself the right story.
6. Your Gratitude
Intentional gratitude is like a nuclear chain reaction: the more you practice, the more blessings you find in your life and each day, and it becomes contagious. When you spread gratitude around to others, relationships become stronger and other’s start to see their own blessings clearer.
The beauty of intentional gratitude is that it makes your life better without having anything externally change.
7. Your Activities and Actions
Don't wait till you're ready. The best time to get started was yesterday. Today is the second best time.
You are what you do.
8. Your Professional Development
High school or college graduation isn't the end of your education, its the start.
Science, skill sets, tools, methodologies, and philosophies are fluid and ever-changing. It’s your job to keep up. But you don’t keep up just to know the lingo and talk a good game. You keep up to discern progress in your field from bullshit. That’s where the usefulness of your experience comes to fruition, and that’s how you maintain your value. You employ progress. You eschew bullshit.
9. Your Belief and Attitude
The old cliche, "attitude is everything" is mainly true. Believe in yourself, and what you are doing.
Always know where you are in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, and never beat yourself up for focusing on that level.
10. Your Definition of Success
Success does not need to equal achievement.
The Only Thing to Fear is…Not Doing Anything.
If goals aren't your motivating thing, then pursue growth instead.
Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.