What is in my control?
Randy Wolken, President & CEO

In times of great uncertainty, it is easy to lose our direction. We cannot rely on our predictive capabilities. The new normal is so significantly different from what we’re used to that it can feel paralyzing. However, we must still function and find our way forward. In times like these, I like to determine what is within my circle of control.

Our lives involve areas where we have influence and control through our choices and actions. In times of real challenge, we should narrow our focus and really work on what choices we have and actions we can take. This will be the area that defines our everyday success.

If we spend too much of our time on what concerns us, it will distract us and even prevent us from taking positive steps in the areas of our lives that we can control. Concerns about the pandemic and the economy are important but can consume us. And yet, we can only react to most of that information. If we spend too much time consuming the information all around us, it can cause extreme anxiety or even panic. And yet, we can do almost nothing about it.

Our circle of influence is a better place to spend our time. In these areas of our lives, we can have a direct and indirect influence on actual outcomes. This involves the people around us. This involves our jobs. This involves the things that we do not have direct control over but can still have an effect on. When it comes to our influence in a time of crisis, we can truly help others and influence the situation in positive ways. Since we do not have actual control in these areas, we should attempt to assist in creating better outcomes. This will help us deal with our stress and help others both deal with their stress and achieve better outcomes as well.

The areas where we have the most impact is in the areas we control. These are our actions. I can control my attitudes, what I think about, and how I act. I have control over what I will do this moment given the circumstances. I can control what I buy, what I read, what I invest my time in, who I spend time with, how much sleep I get, what food and drink I consume, and so many more actual personal choices. This is the area of my life I have the most impact on. This is where I need to spend my time and effort planning and executing.

Where are you spending your time? Are you spending it worrying about concerns you have no control over? How could you spend less time in this space and more time focusing on positive actions you can take? How can you help others take greater control of their lives through their actions? All good questions for each of us to consider in this time of uncertainty.

We will be defined by the actions we take during this period of change and uncertainty. It is important we all identify what we truly have control over and spend our limited time in these areas of our lives.

This coming weekend is Memorial Day Weekend. It is a good time to remember the sacrifice of others. Also, it’s a time we can use to relax and rejuvenate. These are good things for us. Enjoy your long weekend!