The only person I have any real control of is myself. I had a little bit of control of my son when he was a very little guy, but even that didn’t last long. I can make requests of others. I can attempt to manipulate or coerce others into doing what I want, but they’ll always have the option of doing something else. Again, I control only myself.
The good news, though, is that I have complete control of myself. I choose how I react to those around me. I choose where I go and what I do. I decide whether the consequences are worth my choices. I, and I alone, make those decisions.
I can hear you now:
“But, the kids have to . . .”
“But my husband . . .”
“But my boss . . .”
I’ll say it again. I, and I alone, choose what I do. Usually I’ll choose to do what is expected of me, so the kids will get where they need to go. My husband will get his wishes. My boss will be pleased with my performance. Not everyone makes those same choices. As proof I cite those parents who never seem to get their kids to school (or the game, or the party, or whatever) on time, the myriad of unhappy husbands we all meet, and the slacker employees we’ve all encountered.
Other people might hold leverage of some kind, but I make my own choices.
Recently I read Dr. Kevin Lehman’s Have a New Kid by Friday. I’m currently reading his newest book Have a New Husband by Friday. In both cases the books are really about changing your own behavior. You can’t really change your kid or your husband. What you can do is change your own behavior, which will change the dynamics of your relationship. The books are about being the most loving, effective parent or wife you can be.
By taking my time to act instead of simply react to the people around me, I take my own world into my own hands.
This goes for my business as well. To a certain extent I am at the mercy of my clientele. I can’t force people to schedule parties. I can’t force them to invite people to order and/or attend parties. What I can do is control my own behavior. I can make the contacts I need to make. I can provide the tools for my hosts so that it’s easy for them to be successful. Those are the things that are under my control. So, it’s up to me to control them.
Oh, and don’t worry about my choice of reading material. My husband is wonderful. I’m reading Have a New Husband by Friday for two reasons. The first is so that I can make sure I’m doing all I can to be the wife my husband needs; the second is so that I can be of greater help to the women who ask me for advice.