The Circles – Control, Influence, Concern
Life is lived in 3 circles.
What can we control?
The first circle contains the only thing we can control in the world.
Problems arise when we exert all our energy on trying to change other people instead of ourselves. We cannot control all our circumstances or other people. But if you find yourself often stressed by the behaviors of others you may not understand the power of the circles.
What people or situations can be influenced?
Our second circle is a bit larger and is an example of all the things we may have influence over. We can influence loved ones, friends, and environments. Anything or anyone that we invest time and energy into can be considered an area that can be influenced.
What areas in life are we concerned about?
An example of places where we show concern would be world hunger, poverty and injustice. Anything that doesn’t have your direct involvement and but occupies a place in your thoughts.
Our lives start to spiral out of control when we exert energy and focus on the wrong circle. We cannot control world events or other people. It’s a waste of time and energy to focus trying to change anything but ourselves and then our contribution to areas of influence so that they affect our places of concern.
My husband told me about the circles one day when he came home from a conference. It was a day that I felt like I light bulb went off on top of my head. I got it! Most of my frustrations in life came because I had things in the wrong circle. I spent too much energy trying to control other peoples behaviors and not enough time controlling my thoughts and actions. I sat down and wrote down the amount of stress or energy I spent on people or situations and then was honest about what part of the circle I had them in. This was one of the lessons in my life that changed my life for the better. When I learned to think through the truth of each situation and place it in the right circle, I gained peace and perspective.
So now I offer you my light bulb lesson.
How are you doing with your circles?