There are lots of things in life that we can control. Our effort, our attitude, our actions, response to things.
But then there are a lot of things in life that we have no control over. How other people treat us, accidents, other people’s attitudes.
Something very important in your business, is to learn the difference between what you can impact and what you cannot.
If you have the ability to impact something that you need changed, then it is your responsibility to put 100% effort into that thing. You need to take ownership of that thing, and make the impact that you are able to make.
Here’s an example. You know that to be successful selling jewelry, you need to talk to strangers. So you might set your goal to be “talk to 3 new people today.”
Now, whether or not you go out, and talk to 3 new people is almost completely in your control.
We can always make excuses, “I didn’t have time,” or “I am too shy,” but really that comes down to you and your personal growth. It isn’t dependent on anyone else.
Those types of things are where your effort need to lie, and where you need to work hard.
But once you put in the effort to go talk to your 3 new people, now the impact lies with them.
You can control whether you talk to 3 new people, but you cannot control whether those 3 new people have any interest in your jewelry.
You might talk with them, and they might be incredibly rude, and respond very negatively.
Now, as long as you did your part–you were polite, you weren’t pushy, etc–Those people responding negatively is 100% out of your control.
There is nothing you can do to make people respond kindly to you.
So we have these two realms. One that you can impact, and one that you cannot impact.
Unfortunately, what many people do (especially business owners), is they put most of their focus on things that they cannot impact.
They worry, and fret, and stress out about things that really they have no way to influence.
Not only is that a waste of time, but it takes away energy from focusing on the things that you actually can impact.
Take a few minutes right now to write down a list of everything that is stressing you out right now. Everything you are worried about, everything that makes you nervous.
Now, I want you to go through this list, and mark two things.
First, mark everything that is a worry about the future (more than a day away), and cross it off your list.
99% of people’s worries about the future don’t actually end up happening, and 99% of the problems you will face in the future will sneak up on you (you won’t be worried about them before they happen), so all these “future worries” can be pushed.
To quote Jesus, “do not be worried about tomorrow, tomorrow will have its own troubles, each day has enough troubles on its own.”
Second, go through your list, and cross off the things that you cannot influence. Cross off the things that aren’t reliant on you, they are mainly reliant on other people.
If you are anything like me, most of your list will be crossed off now.
The things that are left, those are the things that you can influence, and that you can influence today.
And that is where you should be putting 100% of your time and effort.
To quote the Serenity Prayer that is used in the 12 step process for Alcoholics Anonymous
God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.