Control What you Can
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How many times have you been hit with a curveball–a company re-org, merger or downsizing, unexpected health diagnosis, or a problem with your car or home? Life happens, and despite your well-laid plans, you can’t control other people or events. The only person you can manage is yourself.

A few years ago, I checked in with a friend whose company was going through bankruptcy. I asked him how he was coping, and his response was, “I control what I can–my results, my relationships and my reactions.” He had no idea what was going to happen, so he chose to create value where he could, and represent himself in the best light possible.

Some tips on adding value and representing yourself well:

Control your results:  be clear on your priorities, what you can realistically accomplish and then do so exceedingly well.  Having a purpose as well as feeling a sense of accomplishment can help tune out all the distractions around you.

Control relationships:  aim for quality, not quantity–connect frequently with a few trusted associates inside and outside your company. Nurture and deepen those relationships, so they help you get through short-term challenges, and so they’re available when you might need to tap into them in the future.

Control your reactions:  be keenly aware of your emotions and triggers. To make sure you have enough resilience – get 7-8 hours of sleep, eat healthy food, exercise and consider meditation. Also, reflect on how you’ve managed yourself through curveballs in the past–what you did to cope, how you got through it, and how you can use lessons learned right now.

The next time one of those curveballs come your way, remember to manage what you can–yourself.

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