common. Logic

Focus on the things you can control

A lot of people try to predict and control things that are about to happen. It’s important for their personal life, for their business and for others around them who depend on that.

Doctors try to predict how the disease will evolve and what actions you must take, the weather channel tries to predict how the weather is going to be like and if you should get an umbrella or not, the CEO tries to predict how the market will evolve and how the clients will react in order to take the best possible decisions.

These are all things that can be predicted to a certain degree, but concerning yourself with what disease you might suffer at 80 when you are 20 is a long shot. It’s as crazy as trying to predict how the weather will be next summer because you will buy tickets for your vacation. At the same time, CEOs try to control every single aspect of their business and plan everything for the next 5 years denying the unpredictability of markets.

Some things are highly unlikely to predict and thus impossible to control. Focusing on controlling them is just a waste of time, and it would be better to focus your energy on what can really be controlled and make sure that it will turn out the best.

P.S. This is one reason I hate the classic question in job interviews: “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”. The truth is I cannot know and no one can. Think of what people would have said 5 years ago, before the economical crisis, and what the reality is now.