There are things in life you can control & there are things in life you cannot control. The art of telling the difference is a masterful skill.
With a Type A personality I have erred on the side of being really into control. Some may even take it so far as calling me a control freak. That trait proved to be dangerous as I dealt with all life threw at me. Because not all of life can be controlled. And trying to control what is uncontrollable creates distress & unease. Recognizing what is in & not in your control creates a sense of peace.
I didn’t truly figure that out until the summer between my sophomore & junior years of college. I was working at Zingerman’s & participating in a Leadership Workshop with one of the founders, Ari Weinzweig. As part of the workshop we were asked to read The Corporate Mystic: A Guidebook for Visionaries with Their Feet on the Ground. I loved this book! It combined elements of business with psychology, life, wisdom, stories, in a practical yet high level manner. One of the most significant lessons I took from the book had to do with control. The author shines light on the distinction between what is controllable & what is uncontrollable & the importance of recognizing the difference. He gives a great example:
When we get on a scale to weigh ourselves & look down at the number in disappointment (for example) we can NOT control that number.
We can control elements of our life that influence that number. For instance, we control what we eat, our physical activity, our life choices.
A subtle distinction, but very much important for peace of mind & creating change. If you live life thinking you are going to change the number on the scale, that’s a quick way to a dead end street. If you recognize that in order to change the number on the scale you need to change your habits that influence your weight, you are empowered & have a better idea of what you can actually do for yourself.
Let’s look at control in an entrepreneurial context.
You cannot control investors’ decisions to invest in your company or not.
You can control who you ask for investment, what you ask for, how you present your company, when you ask for investment, for instance.
You can only control YOU. Your decisions. Your actions. Your reactions.
Think about it. Live it. Notice how it influences your inner peace & perspective. It’s freeing!
mel, the venture gal