[To listen to an audio version of this blog please click here: https://soundcloud.com/lex-mckee/a-to-z-guide-letter-c-control-music]

"C" is for "Control". According to Time Manager International, humans need a sense of overview, structure and control to feel OK about life. {So you can guess what letters 'O' and 'S' will be!}

"Control" is a funny concept. Most of us hate to be controlled, yet we also hate to lose control. We call control of others, 'manipulation', yet regard control of our temper or our circumstances as 'mastery'!

Can we agree that self-control, and control of the circumstances we can influence is a good thing, and that seeking to control others is a bad thing? Even the words 'good' and 'bad' are challenging, but let's let them stand today.

Can we also agree that having a sense that your life is under control (rather than out of control) is desirable and feels good? Good!

So, we need a strategy. Stephen Covey shared the concept of circles. We have a circle of control, a circle of influence and a circle of concern in his model. Seems we move in circles!

The circle of concern embraces the things in life we cannot control. Marketing people call these "PESTS" - for Political, Economic, Social and Technological factors that affect us but are difficult (though not impossible) for us to affect. In short, we should be aware of them but not overly bothered – our time would be better spent elsewhere.

The circles that need our time and attention are those where we can influence the outcome, or control it directly. And these circles are far larger than we might think. In fact, the more we work on them, the more they ripple out. After all, one thought, articulated well, can eventually change any of the PESTS I mentioned. Ideas change the World. There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.

For today though, I'm recommending a focus on the most powerful person in your Universe: You. If you have a faith, I am not negating that God is ultimate power in your life, however, I would strongly suggest that it is you who needs to take action corresponding to your beliefs.

My goal is single-minded today: for you to feel good about yourself.

To do this, would you focus on control and influence? Would you take a few minutes to list up to 10 aspects of your life today where you can control or influence the outcome? Make these things you'd enjoy controlling, changing, transforming, adapting... then take action, enthusiastic action.

Kindly share the sense of euphoria that may well arise!

Have an inspirational day!

A Moodscope member.

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