God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Don’t you wish to have the wisdom that knows the difference between the things that you cannot change and the things that you can? Many things happen around us daily. Some are within our control, but others are not. Our life is more productive if we focus on the things that we can actually do something about. Stephen Covey, in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, encourages us to focus on our Circle of Influence instead of our Circle of Concern.
The Circle of Concern encompasses everything in our life that we may be concerned about. The Circle of Influence is a smaller circle within the Circle of Concern that embraces the things we can actually do something about.
The reactive tendency is to focus on the Circle of Concern, and the nature of energy focused on the outer Circle of Concern is negative. When we combine that negative energy with neglect of the Circle of Influence, the inner Circle of Influence gets smaller.
In contrast, proactive people focus on their Circle of Influence, and it grows larger.
If the word “responsible” is a blended word of “response” and “able,” it means that we are able to choose your own response. My office team has been bombarded by many things lately, and it is hard not to react to those unwelcome episodes. I admit that I have been reactive and vent out my frustration. However, I care about everyone in my team very much, and I hope that we remind each other to focus on our inner Circle of Influence and become more “response-able.”
Excerpt and ideas from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families