What Can You Control?


There is a consistent theme I’ve observed over the years from elite performers, whether it was Jim Rohn, Brian Tracy, Darren Hardy or Harvey Mackay. When faced with difficulties, hardships, challenges and all-around bad news or circumstances, these high achievers have simply focused on what they could control.

When your teenagers aren’t following your great advice…
When your spouse or loved ones are going through challenges you wished you could “fix”…
When your employer, employees and/or co-workers create unwanted or needed problems you have to clean-up…
When unexpected health challenges or sports injuries present themselves…
Or when things break… at the worst times…

What can you control?

For some strange reason, when crisis (or near crisis) events happen, we humans tend to want to control all the things we have no control over versus realizing the best and most productive thing we can do is to let go of what we can’t control and embrace and CONTROL what we really can control.

Jim Rohn said you can’t control the economy, the weather or the universe for that matter but you can control yourself. Ater all, that is one thing that matters most; especially how we respond when life throws us curve balls.

So what can you control?

Here’s my list of 7 areas we can and should take control of during good and bad times (for the most part, some are generalities…ok)

  1. Our spiritual/devotion time. Whether it is prayer, quiet time, mediation, etc. when the world is upside down, we get to choose to make sure we are taking time to take care and nourish ourselves and keep our fuel gage full.
  2. Our physical health–in particular our nutrition. Sometimes our health can be a by-product of good and/or bad genes, as well as random happenings. But we do put the odds in our favor through good nutrition and exercise. How we eat, in particular, affects how we feel. It is the fuel for the Lamborghini we drive each day, and our nutrition is in our control, regardless of circumstances.
  3. Our relationship communication. How we treat others, especially our inner circle, is 100% up to us. Often times this takes mentoring, work and improving our skills but we ultimately have control in how we respond to others.
  4. Our Education versus Entertainment quadrant. Brian Tracy calls it the E versus E equation. How much of your time is spent learning and growing versus being entertained? TV in particular — this is BIG! Are you building your dreams and securing your future or spending all your time watching and ‘sponsoring’ actors and athletes on TV?
  5. Our Work. How focused are we during the time we allow for work? How well have we prioritized our activities? I’ve always been a hard worker but after starting a family I was fortunate to design a schedule that allowed me not to work evenings and weekends, for the most part. So that meant from 8am-6pm I was FOCUSED. Everyone I knew from my work world thought of me as the hardest working, most focused person they knew–and I was, from 8 to 6. Because I had those boundaries, it caused me to be laser focused during my allotted work schedule so when I was at home with family, I could focus fully on them.
  6. Our Associations. You can’t change who your family is, or necessarily who your co-workers are, who you went or go to school with but beyond that you get to choose who you want to spend time with, learn from and emulate. Jim Rohn was so clear on this! Your associations play a huge role in your behaviors, your thinking and your values.
  7. Our Attitude. This is HUGE! The number one thing I look at when hiring and working with others is their attitude. It’s the game changer in everything we do in life. Our attitude towards failure, towards bad news, towards obstacles, towards others successes, etc. is one of the single greatest contributing factors to our success or failure.

Bonus Area We Control:

Our Character and Word. Throughout life we all are presented with tests and challenges. Sometimes the temptation or perceived reward is small and sometimes it appears to be Big, but for sure it is not permanent. But if/when we do give in how it can then affect our attitude, relationships, self-esteem and will certainly have a greater negative impact than any perceived benefits. In those times of decision, yes, we have control of our actions, staying the course and doing what’s right.

I know there’s many other areas we can add to our list, but these 8 areas should keep us pretty busy. The more we focus on the things we have control of in our lives the greater positive impact and influence we will have on others we care about. As Jim Rohn so eloquently said, “I’ll take care of me for you, if you’ll take care of you for me.”

To Your Future Success,


P.S. Watch Kyle’s video on Seven Power Strategies to Improve Your Marketing Results here

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