What if you chose something better?

Last night my beloved Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs by the Houston Astros…and I guess I’m okay with that.

A few years ago I would have been really upset, but today I have a somewhat healthier perspective. Would I have preferred to watch the Yankees win and advance? Absolutely, but the days of my emotions being influenced by a sporting event I can’t control are over.

The Yankees, while near and dear to me, exist outside of what Stephen Covey refers to as my circle of influence. Their fate is completely beyond my control – in what Covey refers to as my circle of concern – so I’ve had to learn to not let their fortunes hold sway over my feelings.

If my goal is to be a good husband, father, and leader, then I can’t afford to be grumpy because of a baseball game and miss out on opportunities to take unusually good care of the people I love.

(This post isn’t really about a baseball game)

How often do we allow things we can’t change blind us to the things we can? How often do we fixate on the possibility that everything is going to fall apart and fail to do anything to make the here and now better? How often do our customers and co-workers suffer because we choose to be passive and fearful, instead of proactive and influential.

This is the real mind-bender: how many bad situations materialize simply because we choose to let our concern prevent us from influencing the situation for the better?

Taking unusually good care of people demands that we set aside the fears and worries we may have about things that are well beyond our control and choose to engage in influential work that can change things for the better.

For me, today, that looks like not being upset about a baseball game. What does it look like for you?

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