This week’s question of the week is, “What can I control?”
I was thinking about this in several dimensions. I was talking with a client manager, who was bemoaning his lack of potential influence across the organization. “I don’t have enough influence to do what I want.”
I asked him this question, “What can you control? What can you influence? What can you do? Don’t worry so much about what you can’t do. There’s always more that you can’t do. Let’s look at what you can do.”
A Manage Your Job Search reader also asked a similar question. “I’m so concerned about my job search. There’s so much out of my control. How can I become comfortable with my job search?”
A job search is an emergent project, so it’s difficult to become comfortable with the ambiguity. That’s why it’s a great question to ask, “What can I control?”
Life is an emergent project too. Maybe you want to adapt this question to be, “What can I control right now?”
When I’m having a vertigo attack, or something like it, I can’t control my body. Last week, something happened. It wasn’t quite a vertigo attack, but my eyes went wonky. I think I had a saccades attack. (Saccades is when my eyes go sideways, back and forth, about 100 miles an hour. Okay, it feels like 100 mph. Maybe it’s only 50 mph.) I didn’t have the whirlies, thank goodness, but I sure could not see. I was dizzy and not able to walk without holding onto something. Of course, I was in my basement office. I wanted to turn off the lights, turn down the heat, and go upstairs. But, how do I do this when I can’t see?
In my office, I always have a cane next to me. So I have mobility assistance. I used the cane to get to the rollator. Aha! Now I have hot wheels. I can roll to the lights and the thermostat. I can do what I need to do, without being able to see very well. I don’t have to control much physically, to do what I want.
The real question is how do I feel about the problem? The problem is not the problem, it’s my reaction to it. I can sometimes control that. Initially, I was in problem-solving mode, “Do this, do that.” By the time I got upstairs, I was so tired, I took a nap. Vertigo will do that to you. After my nap, which was way past dinner time, I felt resigned. “Another ‘event’. I have them. I have to live with them. Maybe I can make this one blog fodder.”
I took care of myself physically first. I made sure I was safe and then I slept. Once I did that, I was able to see enough to make dinner to eat. Then I could enjoy the rest of the evening. (Of course Mark was out of town. Murphy’s Law :-)
I had already drafted this question of the week. I wasn’t sure what to write about. Who knew I would have a personal story to share?
My fellow adaptable problem solvers, here is your question of the week. You may discover you turn the situation on its head and reframe the problem. I find it’s a darn good question, “What can I control?” or “What is in my control right now?”
How has this question worked for you?
- Ask for What You Want
- What Problem Are You Solving?