Focus your time and energy on the things that really matter

Dec 12, 2013 | Well-being

Power over your mind - Marcus Aurelius

I saw this quote and loved it. It is so true.

So many of us spend a lot of time and energy worrying about things that we can’t actually do anything about.

In today’s highly pressured environments where you often hear each other saying phrases such as ‘I wish I had more time to get everything done’ or ‘I wish I had more energy to do all the things I need to do’, it seems crazy to think you then use your precious time and energy focusing on things you can do nothing about.



What things are really within your control?

It can really help to step outside your thoughts and pressures, and take stock of whether you are trying to change or influence something that you have no ability to. One of the things that I love to share with my clients is the Circle of Control and encourage them to put all the things that they are thinking about and worrying about, into the relevant circle.

Circle of controlCircle of Control

This circle is reserved for the things that you have complete control over. When you sit and think about it, the key things that belong in this circle are to do with you. You are capable of controlling our own thoughts, attitudes and subsequent behaviour.  This is where you need to focus our precious commodity of time and energy.

Circle of No Control

There are things that you have absolutely no control over, no matter how much you think, talk, worry, cry, get angry about them.  Examples include, the weather, where you were born, what other people say or do, comments by others, the past.

What things can you think of in your life that belong in the circle of no control?

  • Think of the things in the past week that you have become frustrated by or upset with?
  • Can you really change them or do they belong in the ‘Circle of no control’?
  • Are there things in the past that are holding you back that you can’t change?

Trust me it feels great to start putting some things safely in that circle and letting them go.


Time to stop allowing other people and events, to sabotage your life

I was working with a client recently, with regards to diet and exercise, and we were working through things that send her off track.  One of the danger zones for her, is having a bad day at work when colleagues have said or done something that leave her feeling annoyed, or upset.  This would usually then result in any plans for healthy eating, exercise etc going out the window and sitting on the sofa with a bar of chocolate. A scenario I think a lot of us can relate to.

As we worked through this to find a healthy, sustainable way of coping with this, my client concluded that she no longer wanted to give them that power to not only affect her work life but also sabotage her home life. She decided to take control of her own actions and accept she can’t control what others do but she can control how she reacts and behaves as a result.

So, start taking control of your future now and stop giving the control to other people and to your past. 

The serenity prayer expresses this brilliantly;

If you’d love to keep thinking about how to get the most out of your time and energy, come and join my community and get regular doses of inspiration and reflection straight to your inbox. Perfect bite size, doses of well-being to take with a cuppa.


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