“It's OK to have your eggs in one basket
as long as you control what happens to that basket.”
Working the Problem
In the movie, Apollo 13, there were many problems and situations the crew and ground controllers couldn’t control (even though that was in their titles). In one memorable scene, the crippled Apollo spacecraft is re-entering the Earth's atmosphere after overcoming enormous hazards... loss of fuel, loss of oxygen, increased carbon dioxide, little battery power and lack of sleep. The weather director told Flight Director Gene Kranz about a typhoon warning in the landing zone.
"Is there anything they (the astronauts hurtling back to Earth) can do about it?" Kranz asked.
"No, there isn't," was the reply.
"Then there's no point in telling them, is there?"
There was nothing Kranz and his team could do about the typhoon. They worked the problem and dealt with what was on hand that the Apollo crew could manage… and focused solely on that. As we all know, they made it back safely in one of the greatest rescue missions in history.
In every job there are situations, circumstances and people you cannot control. The harder you try the more it seems that resistance overpowers you. My wife helps me to take it all in stride.She says that if you do your part and are diligent in your endeavors (and accurate with what you are doing), it will eventually pay off to your advantage. You have to let go of the things you can't control.
In the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen Covey referenced this idea when he talks about the "Circle of Concern vs. the Circle of Influence." He said, “As we look at those things within our Circle of Concern, it becomes apparent that there are some things over which we have no real control and others that we can do something about.” The art is in not letting the things you can’t control affect you.
“Time management is an oxymoron. Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives. Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have.”
People with a victim mentality and attitude are crippled with not being able to overcome circumstances. But many people have come from worse circumstances by focusing on the areas where they can make a difference.
- Jim Carrey had to drop out of high school as he struggled to learn. He focused on his desire to be a wealthy actor and eventually received 10,000,000 million dollars to star in Dumb and Dumber.
- Vera Wang was a figure skater who became a magazine editor. She was passed over for Senior Editor and later became a fashion designer, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
- Vincent Furnier was a struggling musician and even had people walk out of one of his early performances. He went on to be a reinventing heavy metal rocker (and superb golfer) – you know him as Alice Cooper!
All of these people focused...