Why is it so easy to focus on everything around you, but yet it is very difficult to do the things that you know you can do? Life will put an obstacle before you and it immediately overwhelms you. You begin to worry and are filled with anxiety based on the situation. Maybe you’re at work and everything around you appears to be in complete chaos. In that moment, you feel helpless. It’s during those crucial times when you just need to take a step back and take a deep breath. Like a thoroughbred horse running in a derby, you need to put the blinders on. Then you ask yourself, what is it that is in my power to control. Once you answer that question, then go and do it. If you focus your energy towards that, you will be surprised at how much worry and anxiety will disappear. There is only one thing you need to have complete control over at all times, YOU. If you focus on yourself and do what you know to do, things will turn out for the better. I apply this principle at my job. I want the entire store to do well. But the only department that I have complete control over is my own. I can help the overall store by doing what needs to be done in my department. If I do what I’m supposed to do, then it puts the store in a better place and I am able to pass my evaluations. Now just because I’m focusing on my department does not mean that I do not care about the other store manager’s departments. My energy cannot be split worrying about what everyone else is doing otherwise I will fall short in my own. It takes energy to worry, energy that is better used focused on something else. Sometimes a situation that we are in may be 100 percent out of our control, but it’s in those moments that we learn to control the most important thing of all.
My family and I have been living in our newly built home for nearly two months. Due to the insanely crazy weather here in the great state of Texas, our driveway has not been poured yet. We have not had four days in a row without rain for the entire time we have been here. Instead of our driveway being concrete, it is currently mud. It isn’t so bad a day or two after it rains and the dirt is packed solid. But on the days that it does rain, it’s a nightmare. It gets so bad that we have to park on the side of the road, otherwise we will get stuck in the mud (which is not fun). I remember one specific morning that my car got stuck as I was attempting to leave for work. The front wheels were stuck and it took me nearly ten minutes to get out. Half of my black car was covered in mud. I was beyond frustrated. That evening when I returned home, I sat on the side of the road (the driveway was still wet) in my car for nearly 30 minutes. I have this beautiful, brand new house that I did not want to go to because of the mud. I struggled with this for a while. One day I got tired of being frustrated. I had to come to the realization that I had absolutely ZERO control over the weather. Instead of being miserable, I made up my mind to just enjoy our new home. Yes, I still have to wear rain boots to walk through the mud on some days. But the reward is that I get to enjoy our new house. At the end of the day, I did have control over one thing. That one thing completely changed my perspective and caused my mindset to do a 180. I had control over my attitude. When my attitude was negative, I was miserable and not in the best of moods. When my attitude became positive, I began to enjoy what I had and was much happier. The situation didn’t change one bit. The one thing that needed to change finally did, me.
Control what you can control. That makes the biggest difference. As with me in this situation, your attitude can help determine the outcome. A negative attitude will cause you to lose all control and put you in a miserable state. But if you choose to stay positive, you will see what’s truly in your hands and be able to do what needs to be done. I am not perfect and am still growing in this area. It all comes down to the choices you make. You control you. You control your attitude. You control what you watch on television and what you listen to. You control what foods you put into your body and whether or not you exercise. You control where you go. You control what you do when you get there. You control when you leave. The point I am trying to make is that it’s on you. You control the outcome. Learn to accept that personal responsibility and watch your life begin to change.