Only Concern Yourself With What You Can Control
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jun 8, 2011
I was on a roll last week. After reading a post on Ileane’s Basic Blog Tips I was inspired to write a post titled Is Your Work Worth Nothing. It seems that, for this person, just because he didn’t understand something he felt it prudent that the people doing SEO work for him should be paid based on results and not based on the fact that they did the work. Of course when I asked him if he wanted to be paid that way he said no, but that SEO work is different; no it’s not.
My comments on that post and then my post here got me an invite to write a guest post for Ileane, which I’ll do when asked, and I came up with one I called 5 Ways Your Blog Might Be Irritating People. That post got a lot of responses, and I appreciate everyone who participated; it was a lot of fun. And I didn’t gripe about anything I haven’t griped about here every once in awhile, but it ended up being a pretty long post; I’m glad Ileane was okay with that.
I had been on a pattern of criticism, all of which started with how my grandmother was treated while a patient in the hospital. Oh, people were nice, but overall competence wasn’t up to standard; being a health care consultant, I know. I even wrote a small bit of that criticism here.
Funny thing about criticism; once you’ve opened up your eye and started looking for things that aren’t going well, you get really good at it, focused on it, and suddenly all it seems you’re seeing is incompetence everywhere. And man, it’s easy to find. It’s a place that’s easy to get into, but in the long run it might not be all that much fun.
Hence, the day after writing that post, being on Twitter and complaining about the weather. Yeah, the weather. lol In central New York, it’s like we jumped from winter to summer and totally skipped spring except for the rainy part. The temperature hit 92° (33C), and I’m sorry but that’s just way too hot for me. It was already over 80° around 9:30, and I was griping about that as well because I had hoped to cool the house off before it got really hot.
That’s when one of my online friends, Shirley George Frazier of Solo Business Marketing said: “Concentrate on the things you can control, and the rest will fall in line”. Goodness, what a thing to say to me at that moment. She hadn’t known what I’d been going through and what I’d been like, yet it was a very timely statement. I needed to see it and hear it; heck! Of course, being cool, I wrote back with “You mean I can’t control the weather?” She wrote back “Controlling the weather — something to add to your wish list!”
Funny lady, but the point was taken. It’s easy to complain about things, but harder to think about those things that we could actually do something about. There were a lot of things I was complaining about that I actually did something about, but others that I knew there wasn’t anything I could do. In an odd way I didn’t get all that depressed about any of it, but I also wasn’t as content and happy as I could have been, as I had been before my grandmother got hurt.
An important lesson for those of us who blog is to not get so into complaining about things that we don’t try to fix and resolve what we can. For all the complaints I wrote in the post on Ileane’s blog, I could control only what I do on my blog, and I don’t do any of the things I find irritating. For what happened to my grandmother I had a meeting with a representative at the hospital, and so far have also ended up talking to a couple of department directors on how things could have been improved. I feel good about that because I know that everything I say, if they fix it, will help the next patient that they encounter.
If you’re going to complain, do something about it as well; otherwise, maybe channel those thoughts towards something more positive. I think I can say that most of the time when I complain about something I’m also about to do something about it as well, or have done something about it, like when I talked about our smartphone issues. Are you making sure you’re doing something about those things that irritate you? Are some of those things on this tolerations list (it’s a pdf)?