Control What You Can

It’s crazy how much shit we have on our minds isn’t it?

Now that you have the list, it’s time to sort it. 

Following the ideas that Steven Covey suggested in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, we’re going to look at the list in 2 Categories.

  • outside of your control 
  • within your control 

Now, go through that list of yours and identify all the things that you can’t control.

Write something next to it, like a star or a circle or something.  

Mark the things you can control with another thing.

I use happy face, sad face.

Some people use 0 and 1.

However you do it, find the things on that list that you have some control over and that are causing you stress.

For instance, if you are worried about the amount of debt you have, and lack of cashflow, that’s probably something you can control.

If you’re 50 pounds overweight, arthritic, and a couch potato, that’s something you might be able to affect in a positive way.

Go through your list and pull out the items that are important and that you can actually control.

You can’t control other people and how they feel. You can’t control congress or dumb people who post stupid stuff on twitter. You can’t control idiots on their cell phones in traffic.

But, you can control how you respond to all of that stuff, and so much more.

When you focus on the big things that bother you that are in your control you can get results you actually want.

But, slow down.

We’re not quite ready to put those things into action.

All you’re going to do is transfer the things you can control onto a separate list.

The reason we’re doing this is because one of the biggest hurdles for most people is worrying about shit they can’t control at the expense of controlling what they can.

It’s one of the reasons that you know exactly what to do, how to do it, when you should do it, and you still don’t do shit. 

This stress and worry builds.

It invades our bodies, minds, and actions.

It turns us into reactive, angry, passive aggressive people.

This stress beats us up and spits us back out into the world. 

When you transfer the items try your best to list them in order of importance. 

You’ll have a list of priorities that we will work on together over the next 90 days or so, and some of these things will actually be things you work on for the rest of your life. 

You can make improvements little by little for the rest of your time on the planet.

Each phase of your life, you will have different things you’ll focus on, and different priorities.

This exercise will be one that you come back to time and time again.


…for the other list. 

Look at each thing on that list; one item at a time and consciously release them from your mind. 

Ask yourself…. “Can I let this go?” 

The answer is yes.

You just have to consciously choose to let it go.

And when you do, take a pen and scratch it off your list. 

Maybe it right “F this… Not my problem” or something like that next to it. 

Do this step slowly and intentionally. 

Notice the feeling of release as you let things outside of your control go. 

Celebrate the feeling of letting it go. 

Now you have two lists. 

One list is “Can’t Control”

The other is “List to Do” 

For the “List to Do”, reduce it to only 6-8 items; no more than 10

Combine a few or eliminate something. 

  • Health,
  • Mind and Emotional Well Being,
  • Relationships,
  • Money Meaning and Impact.
  • Learning Something New

Something I do with the List of Can’t Control is a weird full moon ritual my wife and I practice. Burn it. Let it go.

If you did all that, then click here to Tie Up Some Loose Ends.