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Focus on What You Can Control

By Philip Humbert

As I write this, the sun is rising over the hills to the south-east, hidden behind a pillar on the corner of my home. When I sit at this table during the summer, the sun rises off my left shoulder, but now it has moved dramatically to the south and is almost in my eyes. It shifts slowly, and from one day to the next I see no difference, but gradually the earth changes from summer to winter and I am subtly influenced to change my chair, my schedule and sometimes I even end up moving to another room. All with "no change" from day to day!

Success and failure are often like that.

Obviously, we cannot control many of the things and events in our lives, including the tilt of the earth. What I DO control is whether I put curtains on the windows, arrange my furniture to take advantage of the light, and use the seasons to add variety and perspective to my office. Actually, I depend on the changing angle of the sun to "make" me move the furniture and dust behind my desk every few months. I use these predictable changes to enrich my office and make me look at the world differently.

In life, there are many things over which we have no control. Fortunately however, there are many things we can influence, and a few powerful things we can pretty much control as we see fit.

Highly successful people understand this and spend their time and energy where they can make a real and useful difference.

There is a wonderful quote from Marianne Williamson that says our real fear is not that we are powerless, but that in fact we are powerful beyond measure. We can influence more than we think. Given enough time, courage and determination, we can modify, impact, transform and re-invent almost everything in our lives. We are not in complete control, but that is no excuse to deny the power we have!

The new year will last twelve months. You will have 52 weeks in which to choose your priorities. You will have 365 days to decide where to focus your time, your attention and your efforts. You will have thousands of opportunities to choose, to try, and to learn. Twelve months is a huge amount of time! In twelve months you can achieve miracles.

In the coming twelve months the sun will move and the seasons will change. You cannot control these things. But you can control what time you get up in the morning. You can choose your attitude, your friends, your diet, your focus and your goals. You can, to a remarkable degree, create the life you want. Choose well. Use your power. And change your life for the bette!

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