My goal when working with clients is always their personal empowerment. I begin, by helping them get a better understanding of their areas of control. A picture can be worth a thousand words, as they say. I usually have them draw 3 circles, one inside the other. The first should be a very large circle. Inside that, the second circle should be about half the size of the first. The last circle, inside the second one, should be half that size. They wind up with 3 circles, graduating in size, from largest to smallest.

You might want to get a sheet of paper and try this. Label the biggest circle: Outside my control. The middle circle should be labeled: Areas of influence. The smallest circle should be labeled: Under my control. Begin to write things in each circle that correspond with the label. The largest circle might have things such as: the weather, the economy, world politics, etc. In the middle circle, you could put things such as: people’s behavior toward you, your job success, your health, etc. In the smallest circle, you could have: the food you eat, clothing you put on, the effort you put into tasks, etc. If there isn’t room inside your circles to list all the things you think of, you can always attach a sheet of paper, and continue your labeled lists there.

What individual people put into each group will be unique to that person, but the idea is to begin to categorize the areas of our lives into the three areas of control. It takes time before this begins to become second nature, but the circles can help you conceptualize where your power lies. The goal is to recognize that we have the greatest impact on the things that we can control, and the least impact on the things outside our control. We want to put the biggest share of our time and energy into what we control. We have no control, for example, over the choices other people make. We might have some influence, if they’re people very close to us, but we don’t have control. Focus on making the best choices you can for your life, and let others do the same. Why spend our precious time and energy focusing on the things that we can’t control? For instance, instead of worrying about the weather, why not dress accordingly, plan activities, as much as possible, to accommodate your local conditions, and enjoy the day, whether it’s rainy or sunny.

Life can become so much simpler and so much more rewarding when we recognize the power we have to make a difference in our own lives. Going back to my earlier entry from a few days ago, if we learn to prioritize, delegate, and let go, we can use our time and energy wisely by focusing on the areas in our control, or at least in our influence. Keeping our focus on the list of things in our two smaller circles will change our lives. Stressing over the things that we can’t control is not very productive, and can lead to all types of unpleasant consequences.

I’ve seen this concept help people look at their lives, and the choices they make, in a whole new way. It allows them to relax and feel much less stressed and overwhelmed. Why not give it a try? If you would like further guidance, you can email: or call 805 569-0264. I would be glad to work with you on this.

I wish you a simpler life,


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