Don’t Let What You Can’t Control, Get in the Way of What You Can Control

It never ceases to amaze me how much time is wasted by people worrying about things that are beyond their control. Yet when it comes to taking care of things that are completely within their control, they tend to procrastinate. The average human is easily distracted, especially by things that are sensational. In the United States we are obsessed with things of this nature.

How many of you have ever opted not to attend a party, event or school meeting etc. because you need to work on a report that you have to complete by the end of next week? While it is certainly a commendable habit to put first things first, if you are like most people, I suspect you can remember a time or two (in a situation like this) when you ended up getting sidetracked by some news you heard and never ended up working on the report or project at all.

Envision the gains in our productivity as a nation, if so many of us were not consumed by things like TMZ, ESPN, talk radio and the Entertainment Tonight style shows. We treat rumors and breaking news on these mediums like emergency broadcast system warnings. How many times have you dropped what you are doing to follow a breaking story about a celebrity or sports personality? I suspect Brett Favre’s repeated retirements and un-retirements dropped our nations GDP by a point or two in the years they were happening.

What value do we gain by being among the first to know when Lindsay Lohan gets arrested again, or finding out what Indianapolis is going to do with Peyton Manning? Yet people are running around obsessing about these things daily and to what end? The fact is, once these things happen (for better or for worse) we’ll hear about it within a day or two at most and all that obsessing did was put us farther behind the eight ball.

Whenever a major development/rumor hits the news regarding a team or player I am associated with, my phone blows up with calls and texts from people I rarely hear from otherwise. What’s going to happen is going to happen whether they find out before or after it becomes official. Why waste your time worrying about it when you can be playing with your kids or doing something productive instead?

People who learn to turn all of these outside influences off and go about doing what they need to do, tend to be the most successful in my experience. Ever wonder why so-called pressure situations do not seem to bother some players, while other players fold under them? The ones who learn to focus on what they are doing and block out all the noise are the ones who are impervious to pressure.

Why do football kickers miss so many otherwise routine kicks when the game is on the line? It’s because they are thinking about how much the kick means and all the implications (noise) rather than just letting their body do what it normally does without needing to think at all. Show me a person who is worrying about things beyond their control and I’ll show you a person who is underperforming in whatever they are doing.

So the next time you hear yourself telling someone else ‘that you don’t have enough time to _________ (fill in the blank),’ think about all the time you are wasting on things beyond your control and use that time to do whatever you filled in the blank above with.

You can follow Sam on Twitter @SuperTaoInc

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