It Grows When Your Circle of Concern Shrinks
(One of the 83 quick and practical life & work lessons from Sh*t Sandwich: Quick & Practical Success Lessons for Practically Anyone.)
Your Circle of Happiness
You may have read others describe an individual’s circles of concern and control. Basically, the circle of concern consists of those things that you worry about and/or cause you stress, where the circle of control includes only those things you can control. The idea is to remove those things you cannot control from your circle of concern so that it can fit inside of your circle of control.
For example, the weather. Worrying about the weather next week just because you have a flight on Monday is unproductive and creates unnecessary stress. You cannot control the weather, and unless alternate travel plans can be arranged, there really is nothing about a bad weather day on Monday that you can plan for or control. So, remove it from your circle of concern; and thus, remove the stress this sort of meaningless worry creates.
Once your circle of concern fits inside your circle of control, you’ll immediately be in a better mood; you’ll have more energy; you’ll be more fun to around; and you’ll certainly be healthier, both inside and out. You will only be concerned with those things you can control; and you will, of course, naturally exert your control over these remaining concerns to further shrink that circle.
The gap you create inside your circle of control (between it and your circle of concern) is all of those things you can control, but that cause you no concern. This is your circle of happiness. Everything in this gap – this circle of happiness – is worry-free and highly-productive. It creates pure joy.
For example, if you’re a parent you likely recall the unconditional love you received from your children when they were babies. You probably remember how blowing a raspberry on their naked belly caused them to giggle with delight and melted your heart. You weren’t concerned that this little baby may not like getting his stomach slobbered on by this giant, smiling woman; you just did it. You weren’t worried that he may not like your hair or your outfit or that he might think you were a little heavy. You just blew on his stomach without care or regard for your own feelings.
It produced pure joy. It was an event that occurred outside of your circle of concern that you controlled. It happened in your circle of happiness.
Imagine living every day like that moment. Carefree and happy. This feeling comes from inside you; from you not worrying about those things you cannot control and maximizing the moments of those things you can… like blowing a raspberry on a naked belly.