Wednesday, June 27, 2018

On the Trichotomy of Control

In life, when presented with a problem, ask yourself this question: To what degree is this within my control? The answer to that question will point to the way you ought to engage. Three answers are possible.

1. This is within my control.
2. This is partially, but not totally, within my control.
3. This is outside of my control.

Let's say that you're having a bad day because of the tweets from a politician. To what degree is that within your control?

It is wholly outside of your control. You have no impact on the decisions of other people; therefore, say to yourself, "it is nothing." And move on.

Let's say you are out of eggs. To what degree is that within your control? That is entirely within your control. Solution: Go to the store and buy eggs.

Let's say you have a tennis match coming up this weekend. To what degree is that within your control? Partially, but not totally. You control how hard you practice. You control how hard you chase down those tennis balls. But ultimately, whether you win or lose is only partially within your control. So, focus on the part you can control, and to all else, the skill of your opponent, the lucky or unlucky breaks, say to yourself, it is nothing.

Focus on what you can control, and to all else, say to yourself, it is nothing. I've found this formula has increased the tranquility I experience in my life, and I wanted to share it.

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