Have you ever been driving on the freeway on a mission to get somewhere and then BAM! Traffic hits… and you’re instantly in a foul mood with thoughts like; “NOOO! Seriously?! Why today?!” Well let’s think for a second here. The traffic is out of your control; aka you can’t do ANYTHING about it, right? You can’t sprinkle fairy dust and make the traffic disappear (although I wish we could), so instead of sitting there upset and hurt about it, why not say “it is what it is” and focus your energy on being less miserable (turn on the radio and jam out, call a friend, talk to the Lord, listen to an audio book, meditate, do whatever makes you more happy and takes your mind off of the horrible traffic). It’s inevitable…unfortunate things are going to happen, but keep in mind:

We are disturbed not by what happens to us, but by our thoughts about what happens to us.

Marie Forleo, web TV host and trainer in personal development refers to this concept as “making ‘is-ness’ your business” or in other words, get more interested in your reality or what is rather than complaining or wishing things would be different. We should engage our lives with enthusiasm exactly as it is regardless of our likes, dislikes, preferences and ideas on how things should or could be.

How much better would your life be if you were constantly focused on the things you could control and no longer held hostage by your circumstances or victimized by the world?

In my softball days at UCLA, my coach always preached to us about controlling the “controllables.” She would always say that in life, there are only two things we can control: our effort and our attitude.  We had no control over the weather or field conditions, the calls the umpire made, the crowd… Just like elite athletes, focus on the things you can do something about and stop worrying about the things that are outside of your control. We are all human; we only have so much time and energy, and focusing on things outside of our control is a complete waste of it.

In life, we can’t always control what happens to us, but we can control how we react to it.

Steven Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (a MUST read), refers to it as Circle of Concern vs. Circle of Influence. Your circle of concern includes a range of things we worry about: our children, our employees, the job market, the amount of government borrowing, the opinions of others, etc.  Our circle of Influence belongs inside of our circle of concern, but it’s a much smaller circle because it only focuses on things we have control over and can do something about: attitude, effort, preparation, diet, emotions, body language, etc. Utility players focus on things inside their circle of influence; they work on the things that they can do something about with a nature of energy that is positive, enlarging and magnifying. Utility players increase their Circle of Influence.

What are some things in your life that deserve your time, energy, focus and attention? The things you’re responsible for; the things you can control; things you can do something about? Focus on those things in order to be the best YOU! You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Blessings and love,

Marti Reed

Marti Reed