Right now there’s a lot that’s outwith our control. Although this should be concerning to us, it’s not particularly helpful to waste energy worrying about it. So instead, let’s chat about what’s within our own control.
I learned about controlling the controllable a good while ago from ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People’ by Steven Covey. I’m sure that this is the most successfully sold personal development book of all time and it’s one of my Top 10 Self Development Books.
Now, what is meant when we say ‘what’s within your own control’? This is your inner world. The world that you are directly responsible for. This includes how we move, how we feel, how we fuel, what we think about, how we speak, what education that we take on board, what content that we consume, and the skills that we develop.
Many of these variables will likely tie into your career in some way. Right now, a lot of people have lost their jobs or are on furlough. Many businesses are in a situation where they have been forced to close. A lot of us are struggling and relying on Government funding, etc. All of these scenarios help add to the high-pressure situation that we’re all living in right now.
A lot of people’s dreams are being stripped from underneath them. I’m talking specifically about entrepreneurial people who have spent a lot of time and effort in building something of value for other people for it to be taken away or closed. Take me for example. My gym’s been forced to close temporarily due to lockdown for the third time in 12 months.. It’s shite, but it’s not all doom and gloom, we’ve been forced to innovate by pivoting online. We’re still in the game, but treading water like a lot of other businesses right now.
This is due to external factors with what is happening in the world just now. So that’s out with personal control and beyond personal “circle of influence”, to reference Steven Covey specifically. What he encourages is that we take responsibility of self and what’s within our circle of influence. This isn’t a new concept at all. It goes all the way back to the bible.
I consider myself an innovator, not an inventor. Taking responsibility for myself and what’s within my own circle of influence, I’m going to tackle health and wellness before anything else because that’s my thing.
The question I’m asking is “Are you looking after yourself in the situation that you find yourself in?” It’s a yes or no answer. If the answer is “no”, then why aren’t you looking after yourself? In normal times a lot of people will say that they’re “too busy” or don’t have any time. These are just excuses that aren’t really true, especially right now. We’ve got nowhere to go, and nothing else to do beyond going for a walk or doing the shopping. If you are telling yourself that you “don’t have the time” now, then you’re simply lying to yourself.
We’ve all got time right now and the fact that gyms are closed doesn’t mean there aren’t things that you can do to keep on top of your health. The first step is going out for a walk. I like to walk in nature with my dog, but I understand that might not be possible for some of you city dwellers, but there’s always somewhere interesting to walk to, even in the city. If you don’t want to brave the winter weather then there’s online personal training to help you out and keep you accountable.
Like I’ve already said, we’re forced into this situation by the powers that be and it will cause problems, issues, and challenges down the line in the long term if we don’t take care of our health and wellness. If left unchecked it could divide relationships, cause even more stress, or suicidal thoughts and depression for some. All sorts of internal reactions to the external force from the Government’s attempts at keeping Covid at bay. There’s no sense in fighting it. That’s just wasting energy that can be better spent on what is controllable.
So how about take that energy and improve the situation within yourself and work on something of value to yourself. Build some stronger and more productive habits. If you don’t know how to develop habits then read the book, ‘The Power of Habit’ by Charles Duhigg,
After that read ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear. This is a groundbreaking book, and one of my favourites. Clear shows that minuscule changes can grow into life-altering outcomes. He reveals simple life hacks and dives into cutting-edge psychology and neuroscience. There’s a lot of inspiring stories of Olympic gold medalists, leading CEOs, and distinguished scientists who have used the science of tiny habits to stay productive, motivated, and happy.
So what if you don’t like reading books? Then read with your ears using Audible which is about £10 a month. That may be a better learning style for you. Can’t afford £10 a month? Then try listening to podcasts.
What happens when you read or listen to a book or take on some form of educational content? It makes you think differently. It might even make you think differently about a situation that might be troubling you right now. And if you start to think differently then you might begin to act differently.
Now you might be the kind of person who doesn’t like to learn, who’s not solution orientated and doesn’t give a fuck then that’s fine. This message is not for you and I don’t judge you for that. Maybe it will be for you one day.
This message IS for you if you’re ready to navigate through it. Now’s the time. Why? Because there is an abundance of time for a lot of us right now.
Some might need a bit of help to control the controllable.
If you’re feeling trapped, If you’re feeling stressed, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, if you’re struggling then speak to a professional. If it’s really intense and you’re having crazy thoughts, thinking about harming yourself then speak to the Samaritans. They are a very professional organisation of the right types of people who are there to help you. Much respect to them.
Now that’s the extreme level. However, if you’re just feeling the pinch a bit then why not spend this time learning how to manage that stress and pressure a wee bit better and learn some holistic techniques and tools, strategies, process, programs. Learn how to reprogram yourself.
Start a new cycle because this is the thing that I know. Every person who I know who’s happy and content in their life, even in the situation that we find ourselves in just now. Every single person that I know who is successful, by their own measure, works on themselves constantly.
As Jim Rohn, the globally renowned and master motivational coach said,
“Work harder on yourself than you do anything else.”
Why wouldn’t you want to do that? If you’re unhappy about a specific thing in your life then do something about it. Don’t just sit inside, feeling sorry for yourself. I know it’s shite.
Take me for example. My gym’s been forced to close. That’s a lot of external pressure, I’m confined to my house most of the day. I don’t have that social connection with many people at the moment due to social distancing. But I’m lucky that I’m in the situation that I’m in and I know some are in far worse situations at the moment. So please don’t take this as me preaching from a sanctimonious position.
My message today is intended as one of hope. To think about the future and how we’re going to rebound from this. We’re all on this bus. We might be getting off at different stops but we’ll get off it eventually.
So please, work on controlling what you can control right now and you will find that route to a positive outcome. If you’re going to start working on yourself, then please let me know in the comments.
“Strength for Life”
Davie McConnachie is Scotland’s leading health and wellness coach, multi-award-winning gym owner, motivational speaker, and the founder of DMC Fitness, a fitness education facility known as the premier choice for 1-2-1 personal training. He has inspired thousands of people to fall in love with fitness – his true mission in life.
In his own fitness journey, Davie has athletically competed in Mixed Martial Arts fighting for Scottish and British titles, boxed for Scotland’s top amateur boxing team, and competed internationally in Girevoy (kettlebell) Sport.
Diving into the world of sports and wellness has helped Davie to deal with his own inner demons. He. overcame many dark times using his own unique method to complete his cycle of H.E.A.L.I.N.G.