The other day, I went for a walk with a friend. He complained how the German government sucks, how politician A made the wrong decision and how politician B made an even worse decision. In very much sophistication and detail, he explained all that is wrong in the world as a whole, and in Berlin in particular. I bowed my head in awe of his knowledge, I knotted my head in sympathy and I shook my head in disbelief of how much lifetime and energy he wasted. Why would he or anyone else for that matter waist energy on the wrongdoings of the world that he can’t do anything about?
This is what makes sense to me:
Stephen Covey, in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, introduces the concept of Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence. The Circle of Concern is the area that we have no control over. The Circle of Influence is the area that we have (more) control over. In order to move through this world without going crazy, I am aware of my circle of concern and act within my circle of influence.