Today’s letter for the AtoZ Blogging Challenge is ‘B’ for my theme ‘A to Z of Effectiveness’. You can read more about my theme here.
At any given point in time, if you ask anyone if there was anything that would make them happy, they’d quite likely give you a list – When I get married, when I buy my own home, when I get out of debt…the list can be endless! Most people’s happiness seem to be dependent on an event that has to take place in the future, and rarely is anyone truly happy being just the way they are.
That’s not that abnormal, of course. It’s human nature to want more, to improve; and this invariably means achieving some of those things in the list. Yet, you’ll have to agree that most of these are external factors, most of which we have no control over (oil prices/recession/budget). Stephen Covey describes this beautifully in ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ with this diagram:
The outer circle, the Circle of Concern encompasses everything that worries or concerns you right now. The inner circle, the Circle of Influence is the subset of these, and includes only those concerns that you can do something about. To identify those concerns, you’ll obviously need to accept what you can and cannot change; read more about that here.
One way to decide which circle your concern falls in, according to Mr. Covey, is to separate your ‘have’s’ from your ‘be’s’. Remember the concerns we talked about earlier – when I have my own home/husband/car? Well, these are external factors and deserve to be in the outer circle. But if your concern is more about when I can be calm/intelligent/loving, it is about something that has to come from within yourself, i.e. something that is completely in your control and influence. No prizes for guessing which circle these fall into!
So is it wrong to have goals? Of course not, how else would we have a place to live or a vehicle to drive? But it is unwise to let your happiness rest on these, since achieving them depends on factors beyond your control. However, when you resolve to be a better version of yourself, there aren’t any external factors involved, it’s all you!! How much more peaceful and forgiving or how less critical and short tempered you want to be is all in your hands – provided you accept the problem first, of course!
Are there any ‘Be’s’ in your life that you think would make you happier if achieved?