The Influential Power of Attention

Most of us have a fairly strong desire to be in control, and probably spend too much energy trying to satisfy that desire.
Sometimes it’s our environment we want to control: the traffic, the stock market, even the weather. Sometimes it’s people: our employees, our customers, our partners, or our children.
If we’re honest though, we have to admit that we can’t control them at all. The best we can hope for is to influence them, or maybe manipulate them for a short time, allowing us to enjoy the illusion of control.
Unfortunately, when the desire to control people or things is unsatisfied (as it usually is) we lose our composure and can submit to anger, frustration or even despair.
In other words, our desire to control the things we can’t is often what causes us to lose control of the things we can.
That was the bad news.
The good news is that there’s something we can do about it.
By strengthening our power of attention we become more objective about the things we desire. This improves our ability to choose ones we actually have some hope of satisfying and then spend more of our energy pursuing them.
Instead of trying to control the uncontrollable (a game we’re guaranteed to lose) try practicing self-control. It may not sound as exciting, but it actually strengthens our influence over others, reduces our dependence on things going our way, and ironically perhaps, makes it far more likely that we’ll get what we wanted in the first place.