Circle of Concern, Circle of Control

A study of how we can increase our circle of influence and control by decreasing our circle of concern. Pretty sure Dr. Stephen Covey began this most useful work in his book “7 habits of highly effective people,” there is loads of excellent stuff on the web about it now.

Here is an excellent slide show on the circles and how to work with them.

On Covey’s website are some pretty cool resources including this video showing an example of some young attractive businessy kinda guy being strategic over how to widen his control circle in order to even out the boss’ shortcomings.

This diagram can be drawn with a third circle as well, dividing the inner circle into a circle of control and a circle of influence. 

The idea is to expand your circles of control and influence by focusing on what is important in your own life, thereby decreasing your circle of concern (things you can’t change and that have no direct impact on your life), and increasing your level of control, or free will, over your life.

Note please, that this doesn’t mean one should deny or not “care” about massive issues such as poverty and environmental degradation, but rather that by focusing on one’s own life (what one can control), one can take meaningful action i.e. live more in tune to one’s values, and not become overwhelmed by the enormity of it all.

Circle of Concern, Circle of Control