Focus on what you can control. Ignore the rest.
I’ve long been a proponent of this philosophy. I fully believe that to make an impact, we have to focus on where we can make a difference. BUT…
And this is a big one…
We can’t use this approach as an excuse to be passive.
If we choose to be passive, we’ll never know what we’re capable of. If we choose to be passive, we can justify walking away from almost any situation that makes us uncomfortable. And then the burden (and the opportunity) falls to other people.
Don’t be passive.
This means that there will be times when things are beyond our control when we ALSO have a duty to push hard against the boundaries of that control to see what’s possible. We have an obligation on matters big and small to test the scope of our influence continually. Because right at the edge of our influence lies the opportunity to expand our capabilities.
The people who make a difference don’t resign themselves to defeat when they encounter a situation that is beyond their control. They think about how they can make a difference within that control, and they figure out how to test where that control ends.
That’s when they discover opportunities to put their unique strengths, skills, and experience to use.
That’s where the good stuff happens.