Thoughts From The Wilderness – Three Ways To Help To Control What You Can Control

You can only control what you can control in life.

That one rates right up there with “as the sun sets today, a new day will dawn tomorrow.”

3Both have a bit of a cliche type ring to them, I think.

In fact, both are great big fat cliches. There is no doubt about that.

All of this is more than freaking ironic given the definition of a cliche is, “a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.”

Question – why do we use cliches in every third opportunity that is presented to us(although, I’m trying to limit myself) when helping someone? And, do they have any meaning or real value and insight?

Not sure there is a good answer to either of those questions.

Nevertheless, there can certainly be a nugget or two of truth in them, regardless if they’re “a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.”

Where I work, we’re in the midst of selecting new duty crews for the next fourteen weeks. We’re also in the midst of a long and protracted labour negotiation. We’ve been without a contract since July 1, 2019.

batshitIn a nutshell, both of these things combined and with a bunch of other stuff thrown into the mix, have caused a number of my fellow co-workers to go shall we say, “bat-shit crazy.”

And this particular example of “bat-shit craziness” where I work, is a life-force all on its own.

I swear it is a living and breathing entity, spawned by the devil himself or certainly one of his/her minions. And it goes without saying, it can suck the life and enjoyment of life, and out of anyone who gets remotely close to it, when “the bat-shit crazy train” is firing on all cylinders.

All kidding aside, most of us are aware that it can be far too easy to fall into the life-draining politics of the workplace.

Nevertheless, this is where I am at in this situation, that being:

“I can only control what I can control and that involves for me, going carefully through the duty crews and picking the ones I feel might be the best for myself at work and our family life.”

You can only control what you can control.

Three tips to help “control what you can control.”

Focus – Where Is It?

Having our focus in the wrong direction or on the wrong thing can simply drain our energy. It drains it away from the thing(s) we can control. It’s those circumstances that we have control over which will ultimately help us achieve the best outcome possible given the situation we’re in.

When we focus on what we have no control over, it makes us less effective and potentially could take us to a place you never wanted to be in the first place. In other words, the more time and energy we spend on the things we can’t control, the less time and energy we’re spending on the ways and things we can control.

The great point to remember here is, don’t let other circumstances end up controlling what you can ultimately control yourself.

Get your focus in the right spot – on what you can control.

Wrong Focus Equals Worry

When our focus is where it needs to be, we don’t or shouldn’t worry as much about those items or circumstances we can’t control or have no control over.

Over the next day or so, as I work through the new duty crew book, my focus will hopefully be solely on the things that I can control and make a difference with, in terms of selecting a duty crew.

Once I know that all of MY EFFORT; that I am doing all I CAN in this situation to make good choices, then to hell and fu@k the rest of the variables and crap outside of my control.

Now, this doesn’t mean I’m anxiety-free or that my nerves aren’t doing a bit of a “highland jig.” But in my heart, I know I’ve done all I can and that I can trust myself and my effort to control what I can control.

Why worry about something that doesn’t rate the “time of day” for me to worry and fret about it?

Don’t give “bat-shit crazy” any of your valuable time and resources. It will survive and thrive just fine without any input from you.

The right focus equates to less worry.

Controlling What You Can Control Takes Discipline

It takes discipline to control what you can control. It is not a “one and done” scenario in life. So, get ready throughout your life for someone to utter while having coffee the cliche “you can only control what you can control.”

This type of discipline takes practice.

Think, “bat-shit craziness” and how easy it is to pull up a comfy chair and join right in with all that “fun.”

bathsit2When we get sucked into that “black-hole level of insanity”, we start to flounder around like a “fish out of water” worrying about the one hundred and seventeen variables and possible outcomes, none of which we have ANY CONTROL OVER.

Flopping and wallowing around wasting energy in the “batshit crazy black-hole level of insanity” ultimately keeps us in a state of helpless passivity.

Sometimes it takes discipline to keep our focus and to keep moving forward, even when we feel vulnerable and uncertain about the outcomes.

Controlling what you can control requires discipline.

You can only control what you can control.

You can’t control the “batshit crazy” swirling tornado around you that wants to suck you into its vortex, much like “Dorothy and Toto” in “The Wizard of Oz.”


  • Keep your focus
  • The correct focus provides less worry
  • It takes discipline

Regardless of what happens and as the “old cliche goes”“as the sun sets today, a new day will dawn tomorrow.”

3And the new dawn gives the opportunity for a whole new “bat-shit crazy black-hole level of insanity” to occur. Lucky us!

What do you do to ensure you take control over what you can take control of?



—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

One thought on “Thoughts From The Wilderness – Three Ways To Help To Control What You Can Control

  1. very wise pointers Glen … ‘control’ is really not my thing, I prefer to try and go with the flow 🙂

    Mind you if that flow is snails pace I have been known to prod the bull to get things in motion again 🙂


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