Day #145: Focus on Your Circle of Control

Hip Hop Affirmation of the Day #145

Affirmation of the Day: I focus on my circle of control and influence

You could plan a pretty picnic but you can't predict the weather

Are you familiar with the term, “Circle of Control,” or “Circle of Influence”?

I first heard about it from my early personal development days.  It’s the thought that the best place to focus your energy is where you can have impact.

Your circle of control houses things that you can physically have an impact on.  That means these are things you are personally doing.

Your circle of influence is where you can have indirect control through your influence.  

An example to consider is being a manager and asking your employee to do something vs. doing it yourself.  

When you ask them to do it you are banking on them getting it done because of your influence.  If you decide to get it done yourself you are using your own physical power to get it done; that’s your circle of control.

Below is a story about how I had to adjust my mind when I realized the limits of my circle of control and influence. Enjoy.


“I came to Stanford with a well thought out plan, but realized I needed to adjust; so I did.”

Thanks for all great hospitality I received while out in Northern California (I was all over the place, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, San Jose and the Santa Cruz area).  I was there for part 2 of my leadership retreat so I decided to pay a visit to Stanford University’s Annual BlackFest event which had Wale as the headliner.  I had the pleasure of being a vendor there where I had books, freshly created stickers and t-shirts for sale.

While on the scene, I quickly realized that the students from Stanford and the surrounding community were not there to buy books.  They were  there to celebrate the end of the school year.  With that being said, I did not sell many books.  

What I did do was adjust my well thought out plan from selling X number of books to focusing on getting as many of my stickers out there so the hiphopaffirmations.com site was introduced to a new community.  

I also focused on getting folks to take my student questionnaire–this keeps my “7 Days of Hip Hop Affirmations to Change Your College Life” content fresh with the latest information and needs from the people I serve.

Plans are great but I had no control or influence over why the students were really at the event.  All I could do is embrace it and look for ways to be part of it and get the most out of it.  

You can either focus on your circle of control / influence or you can look to increase them.  Many times focusing on them allows them to grow. 

Where do you need to adjust your focus so you don’t just keep running against a brick wall?