I first learned about the concept of “Circle of Influence” in a book written by Stephen Covey called “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”
It basically represents the aspects of our lives with which we can actually have some impact.
What we read, what we buy, what activities we do.
These are actual things we control.
However, most of us spend a lot of time and energy on things outside this circle.
Worrying about things we don’t even have the power or capability to affect in anyway.
News. Sex lives of celebrities. What people think of us. The weather.
These are things outside of our “Circle of Influence”, and will not likely be changed by us.
So the idea of focusing on them mostly leads to waste of time, and may even cause anxiety.
Focusing on the Circle of Influence
Yes I know, the weather, the economy, news and other things outside of my Circle of Influence will definitely have and effect on my quality of life.
This is why I do check them still.
But since they are out of my hands, I try hard to focus on those that I can control.
Taking into account the variables that will affect me, I navigate life by thinking, “What can I do with the resources I’ve been given?”
I have skills, talents, relationships, tools.
How can I use them to work toward my goal?
Thinking too much about things that won’t help me will just be a waste of time and energy.
One Practical Step
When out commuting or hanging out in the mall, notice that a lot of people can’t take their eyes of their phones.
Maybe 80% plus of strangers you see will have their eyes locked, scrolling stuff on their phones.
How many of them do you think are browsing social media feeds?
The thing about browsing too much social media, is you’re basically allowing other people to put content in front of your eyes.
Many of which are outside your influence.
One second you’re looking at a horrifying crime scene, the next you’re reading about your high school classmate’s new baby.
You have no control at all.
When you spend most of your time aimlessly scrolling down this rabit hole, you will find yourself slowly being numb to things that are actually inside your Circle of Influence.
One practical step is to limit others’ concerns influence yours by not spending so much time on social media.
Remember that the currency of the internet, the real “money” online, is not in your bank accounts, but the attention or time you give away.
It all boils down to how much you want to take control of your life.
Don’t let other people’s life and concerns influence your thoughts, emotions, and energy.
At least, not too much.
Start checking what activities fill up your day and how much percentage of your time is given to each.
Do you actually spend time on things inside your Circle of Influence?
You may find that doing this will be kind of liberating.
You will slowly feel more confident, at peace, and productive.
See you tomorrow! :)