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Dr Steven Covey, in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People talks about focussing on your “Circle of Influence”.

He says proactive people work on the things they can do something about: health, children, problems at work. Reactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of Concern--things over which they have little or no control: the national debt, terrorism, the weather. Gaining an awareness of the areas in which we expend our energies is a giant step in becoming proactive.”

Mum just celebrated her 80th birthday in January and made the momentous decision to move into a retirement village. We are all thrilled that she has made the decision while still healthy enough to enjoy the lifestyle it offers. So we are in the process of selling her house. We don’t know anything about how to sell a house (circle of concern) so we engaged an expert to look after that side of it for us. What we were able to do was do jobs around the house to present it in mint condition to attract the best price (circle of influence). So we got the families together for a few weekends painting bedrooms, clearing out clutter and doing small repairs ready for the auction on May 12th. Unfortunately, there were no bids and we are still waiting for the right person to walk in and fall in love with it (circle of concern). The market is soft at the moment but the real estate agent believes it’s a good house for a fair price so it will sell. We’ve done all we can do (circle of influence) and now we have to let go.

I have to let go of something else this week in my business. Something that I’ve laboured over lovingly for the past three months and worked 18-20 hours a day in the last four weeks - the annual updates for Pure Bookkeeping licensees. I’ve poured everything into it. All my time, energy, ideas and focus. I have prepared as much as I can (circle of influence). Now I have to let go (circle of control) because of the deadline. What’s difficult about that is that I’ve still got lots more to contribute if I only had more time. At least I’m clear about what I can influence and what I can’t control. I choose not to waste my time and energy on things I can’t control and focus on the things I can.

When you’ve put your heart and soul into something and know you’ve given it your all, it doesn’t mean that’s as good as it’s going to get. There is always room for improvement as we learn something new or have another great idea. Being satisfied with what you’ve achieved and letting go at the right time is such a relief.