Thiel: Let go of issues beyond your control

Live in gratitude with an influential perspective. Be grateful for what you have.

Markus ThielI really like my dog. His name is Max, well, Maximus. I learn a lot from him.

For instance, why can’t humans be more like dogs first thing in the morning?

Some of us get up and mope and complain about how tired they are, some of us absolutely need coffee to get breathing. Let’s face it; some of us are not morning people.

Now take Max, he can’t wait to get up. He hears the slightest stir, a sneeze, a door and he’s up, wagging so hard he can barely walk straight.

You just know he is saying, “Ya! Here we go, another day. Hey what’s that? I haven’t peed on that yet. Hey look a cat. Oh ya, breakfast soon!”

His life is an adventure and I think he is so happy because he has an excellent perspective on life.

Let’s face it. Dogs do have a lot to complain about. They don’t get a bath every day, they are covered in hair, they don’t have opposable thumbs and have you ever seen the way dogs greet each other? Ya.

But yet, they seem so delighted with everything.

I think it is the gift of perspective. Take a day and assess your perspective.

Instead of saying something like, “I can’t believe the income tax I have to pay!” try “I sure am glad I have an income.”

Imagine where you would be if you didn’t have that job you complain about from time  to time.

Imagine if you had a job that you could not leave if you wanted to. Perspective.

Man, look at those gas prices. No one else pays as much as we do.

Well, in the UK they are paying over $3 a litre, car insurance is three times of what it is here and they all drive on the wrong side of the road.

Steven Covey wrote an excellent book entitled The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

In it, he speaks of something called the circle of influence and the circle of concern.

These two circles are placed on top of each other with the circle of concern being the bottom, larger one and the circle of influence being the smaller, top one. It is kind of like a small pancake on top of a bigger pancake.

The circle of concern encompasses those things that concern us, but we can do little about.

For example, increasing gas prices, having to pay for things like income tax and property expenses, streetlights that are not synchronized, the slow moving person in the fast lane, etc. these are things that concern us but we can do little to nothing about.

The circle of influence is a smaller circle but filled with things like the quality of our relationships, our health, our daily routine, the way we see ourselves, our finances, etc.

Now here is the key; do you spend most of your time in the circle of influence or the circle of concern?

Most of us unintentionally spend most of our time and energy in the circle of concern. Move over.

The circle of influence has better air, the water is better and it will treat you much better than the circle of concern.

My father says: “There are so many things in the world you have to do. The things that you are allowed to choose, choose well.”

I think he was talking about the circle of influence. This goes back to perspective. Which serves you better, a circle which drains you and disempowers you, or one that allows you the freedom of choice and empowerment?

Live in gratitude with an influential perspective.

Be grateful for what you have. I am not saying that you should put on your rose-coloured glasses and pretend everything is OK for a day. Not at all.

I am saying that, in life there will be, from time to time, matters that may concern you.

That is fine, just be sure you are living in your circle of influence. The things you can change or influence, do it. The things you can’t change, don’t waste another second on it.

A wise man once said: “There is no such thing as reality, only our perspective of it.”