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“Amazing how we can light tomorrow with today.” – Elizabeth Barret Browning

For those of you who are pursuing a “mindful” life, know how important it is to truly live in the moment. We cannot correct the past; we can only fret the future. Worrying about the past paralyzes us with the fear of failure and sets up expectations of future issues based on what “happened before”. Worrying about the future only brings anxiety. How do we really control all of the infinite amounts of variables that truly predict what we will end up doing?

Every year I read Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. One of the major epiphanies for me is Covey’s focus on what he calls the Circle of Influence and the Circle of Concern. The Circle of Influence (COI) is you, focusing on the present moment, laying your plans and executing your priorities. The Circle of Concern (COC) is the past, the future, and all of those things, people, and events you have no control over. People that reside in the COI pay attention to what they can affect and that one thing only. They make plans, execute their plans, and adjust accordingly in the moment.

Those that live in the COC, are so worried about past mistakes they never endeavor to do anything, other than the mundane things that are not risky. They are more worried about what someone else is doing than they are, and they are consistently looking for something “out there” to alleviate their pain.

It is obvious which circle is more beneficial. Another interesting facet of this is the way these circles evolve. The COC people’s circle of concern, if not checked, will continue to expand and their lives will appear to be more and more out of their control. The CIC people, however, will experience greater freedom and control because their circle of influence will expand.

Folks, concentrate on you and stop worrying about the things you cannot control. Focus on the present moment. Dream about what you want, create a plan, and execute it, with the faith that there is enough for everyone. You will feel 100% better, more relaxed, and will feel more control over your life than you ever have before.

That’s it for today folks.

Until next time…

Dave

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