It’s fascinating to watch people react to situations over which they have no control. We’ve been in branches during a time where the markets were experiencing major correction and watching people glued to their machines, as though by sheer force of will they were going to turn that market around or being in traffic jams that were locked down as far as the eye can see and yet, inevitably, someone blasts their horn like we’re all going to turn around and go, “Oh this guy’s in a hurry, we need to go!” Watching people act as though they can control the uncontrollable can be quite entertaining.

With that in mind, take a moment and make a list of things over which you have absolutely no control. What have you written down? On that list, you should have items like the weather, the stock market, traffic, and/or what’s going on the Middle East, etc. Now make a list of things over which you have absolute, ironclad control. Ultimately you’ll only have two items: what you do physically and what you think/what you allow into your mind. That’s it!

What does that leave? Everything else in life falls under the broad umbrella of influence. For example:

  • You can influence your clients but you can’t control them.
  • You can influence your children but you can’t control them.
  • You can influence your health but you can’t absolutely control it.
  • Anything that doesn’t fall under the concepts of total control or no control falls under the vast umbrella of influence.

Now we all know those that have extraordinary influence, people seek their counsel for virtually everything. Conversely, we know people who have virtually no influence and when they offer their opinion or insight, no one listens. What is the difference between these two individuals? How can one have such vast influence and the other have virtually none? It all boils down to how each of these individuals handles the two areas over which they have total control: How extensive is their knowledge and what they actually accomplished in their lives.