In and Out of ControlFeb 09, 2021
When you wake up in a puddle, you know you’re in for a long day.
We made our way toward our target on foot through heavily wooded terrain.
We didn’t carry tents, so I found myself a nice sloped spot on the ground, and I curled up in my poncho for a quick snooze.
That’s right about when the rain started.
When I woke, my entire backside was soaked.
I was cold and wet, and I couldn’t stop thinking about how long it would be until I was dry again.
The steady rain continued the next day.
Things evened out as I became fully soaked.
Suddenly it clicked:
While I couldn’t do anything about the rain, it occurred to me that the woods were beautiful, my teammates were enjoyable, and the work was rewarding.
I didn’t mind being drenched anymore, and I returned my attention to the mission.
Think of something outside of your direct control that’s creating a challenge for you or your team.
Write its name on a slip of paper.
Read its name aloud.
Now that you’ve properly acknowledged it, crumple up the paper and recycle it.
Shift your expanded attention to those things you can control.
When we acknowledge externalities but prevent them from consuming our precious time and attention, we preserve the best of ourselves for those who need us to lead.