I ask this question much more often as I have gotten older. In part, because I now see that there are many things in life we can’t control.
We must understand that in all situations, we can only control ourselves. How we respond. What we insist on. What we focus on. Who we spend time with. What we try to accomplish.
Being productive is much more an exercise in choice (and some adjustment at times on our part) rather than keeping track of time. You see in all situations, even those that seem messy, I find it quite helpful to find those things where I may have some control or influence over.
When these can be clearly identified, my efforts then begin to have more leverage. They are stronger and have a greater possibility of helping than if I wander about within a confusing mess.
Problem solving is no different. I have learned not to start with what I don’t know. It’s a lot easier trying to identify what I do know with certainty with respect to a problem before venturing into the unknown.
Our skills are much more limited than we give ourselves credit for. We generally are poor predictors of the future. So I encourage you not to embrace the whole of anything but rather look for more detail inside of what surrounds you at the moment.
Decide what parts you may have some control over. These will be things that you may be able to change, affect, or influence within a larger, more confusing, situation.
Curiosity is needed for this skill, together with some patience, as it generally takes longer to find what we might be able to control and what we most likely can’t.
Please repeat after me: “In ALL situations, we can always control our thoughts, our responses, our choices and our intensity.”
We can never control or necessarily change how others respond or choose.
We can only control ourselves…..even at times when we think we can’t stop ourselves!