People say “don’t sweat the small stuff”. Let’s turn that around. What happens if you decide not to sweat the big stuff?
Today, 20 January 2017, Donald Trump officially became the 45th President of the US. On social media people are essentially claiming this is either the end of days … or the dawning of a bright and bold new future. It’s very black and white.
It’s much too early to tell what the long-term consequences of this democratic decision might be, but instead of focusing on that big decision, perhaps we’d all be better off focusing on something smaller? Something closer to home. Something we can actually control.
In his “7 Habits”, Stephen Covey talks about our circle of concern, and our circle of influence:
[NB Picture updated in 2020 – I’m not psychic!]
For the vast majority of us, the result of the Presidential election clearly falls in the bigger circle. Yes, it’s important. Yes, it will probably affect us. But can we do anything about it? Probably not. Americans could yesterday, by voting, but the rest of us just have to sit and watch.
And however you feel about the result, spending time today either in celebration or anguish isn’t particularly constructive.
Instead, stay in your circle of influence. Spend a quality 30 minutes with someone you care about. Cook yourself something healthy for dinner, instead of grabbing a takeout. Read a chapter of a good book.
Yes, it’s important to be aware of the wider world, but spending too much time worrying about things outside your control is bad for your soul.
And you know what the best thing is? When you spend time in your circle of influence, it will start to expand … And if you spend enough time there, perhaps one day you’ll find yourself in a position to influence the result of a Presidential election?