"You can only control what you can control"
Ever heard this saying or phrase "you can only control what you can control"?
Here's a better question, if you have heard of it, have you ever thought about it in more detail? or wondered what it means and how it potentially relates to personal success?
If you did, I did too! But if you didn't then don't worry, because I'll aim to give you my perspective on it.
Let me first start by saying I really love this phrase! I love it for the simplicity of the facts.
The reality is we can't control everything.
The other reason, I really love this phrase is it's ability to help drive a sense of self reflection in uncertainty or challenging times. Now I will be the first to admit, this is easier said than done, but again the simplicity of the phrase will help create an easier transition into that mindset.
Another reason I really love this phrase is its reference to nature. Often we cannot control mother nature, but somehow the majority of us manage to get through some of the wildest weather Mother Nature has to offer each year.
"The reality is, we can't control everything"
You see the phrase is simple, reflective and comparable with nature. All things that make sense when it comes to personal success, and that's probably why I really love this phrase.
When you think of it, success is always challenging us and part of success is to create environments where we have to choose to respond, and often how we respond is how we grow and learn.
Now as the phrase simply points out, "you can only control what you can control" when it comes to success, often a lot of the control is out of our hands, for example, in a job interview we cannot control how a decision is made, or out in the road we cannot control bad drivers or extreme weather (although this is a sensitive topic around climate change, which I will leave to the experts!). Those examples are all relative to this phrase.
But how to use this phrase correctly is to dissect its deeper meaning, which is we can control something, and that is ourselves.
By that I mean, we may not have control of the outcome, but we will in most cases have control of the process and the ability to influence the outcome, for example regarding a job interviewer making a decision on whether we get a job or not is out of our control, but we can control the following; how we prepare for the job interview, how we dress, how we practice and how we plan to get to the interview are all things we can control.
In the other example, I talk about bad drivers on the road, we cannot control how they drive, but we can control how we watch out for them or how we avoid them on the road.
And the classic weather example is always a good one. We often are quick to react to bad weather such as the cold or extreme hot temperatures, again things we cannot control. But we can control how we respond to it, we can choose to see it as an opportunity for example cold weather could be an opportunity to spend time with friends and family in front of a nice warm fire playing board games because it's too cold to go out. Or in the opposite direction we can choose to see the hot weather as an opportunity to spend time with friends and family at beach to cool down and relax.
You see the above examples are simple yet are all examples of how we cannot control certain aspects of our lives, like the outcome of job interview, bad drivers or weather, but we can control the process, and evidently how we respond to an uncontrollable situation. The underlying theme in the examples above is we all have the control and how we decide to respond, that is our choice, and when it comes to success it is our choice to respond positively or negatively, and no matter which way you respond, your mind will think that is right.
So remember, we can only control things we have control of, and often that is our choice in relation to the uncontrollable.
Till next week,
Main Blog Photo by Rohan Makhecha on Unsplash