Whether a problem is direct, indirect, or no control, we have in our hands the first step to the solution.
It is another thought-provoking quote from Steven Covey’s best-selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change.
Steven Covey mentions that the problems we face fall in one of the three areas
1. Direct Control
These are the issues involving our behavior; they can be solved by working on our habits. For example, if a poor health is your problem, then you can solve that by spending time on exercising every day. If punctuality at reaching to work is your problem, then you can solve that by getting up 30-60 mins earlier every day, so you have enough time.
2. Indirect Control
These are the problems involving other people’s behavior; they can be solved by changing our methods of influencing others. For example, if you have concerns with your friend’s behavior on how he treats you in particular situations, or If you have issues with communicating things with your boss because he never listens to you. Such problems can only be solved by influencing others in a positive way, by putting yourself in their shoes and then thinking, by distancing yourself from the situation and looking at it from the outside, and by listening to them with a purpose of understanding.
3. No Control
We can do nothing about these problems. They have happened in the past or are part of a situational reality. They involve taking the responsibility to change the line on the bottom on our face by smiling, to genuinely and peacefully accept these problems and learn to live with them, even though we don’t like them. In this way, we do not empower these problems to control us.
It shows that whether a problem is a direct, indirect, or no control, we have in our hands the first step to the solution. Changing our habits, changing our methods of influence and changing the way we see our no control problems are all within our circle of influence.
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