Beyond Control // Positively Speaking // Mark Wilson

Attention — all control freaks.  (That includes me, by the way.)    I have an important announcement to make:

About 96% of life is outside the scope of your control!

Isn’t that an unpleasant surprise?  You knock yourself out trying to manipulate outcomes and make things go a certain way, but realize  you have less than a 5% chance that it will turn out exactly how you had planned it!   The odds aren’t stacked in your favor. Less than 5%!

Here’s another interesting observation.  The more effort you put in trying to control everything, the less control you’ll have.  Strivings and graspings only lead to frustration and further chaos.

You can’t control life’s circumstances.  The unexpected pops up every day.

You can’t control other people.  To a limited degree, I suppose, are able to control behaviors (i.e. parents who are guiding and disciplining their children), but we can NEVER control the attitudes of others.

You can’t control the end results of your efforts.  Of course, you’ll increase your chances of success if you make good plans, work hard, and think smart.  But you can’t create the final outcome.  There are many uncertain variables that go into producing the final result.

For example, both the Bears and the Colts fully intended to win the Super Bowl last week.  Both teams planned, practiced, and poured their hearts into winning that game.  Neither team, however, figured rain or slippery footballs into the equation.  Stuff happens.  The Colts adjusted a little better than the Bears, and walked away with victory.  Sometimes, the very best plans and schemes go awry.

So, what is the 4% you CAN control?

  1. You can control your thoughts.
  1. You can control your words.
  1. You can control your attitude.
  1. You can control your behavior.

When you spend more time and energy controlling what you CAN control rather than the things you can’t, you’ll be surprised at how much more fulfilling your life will become.

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