“Our experience shapes the way we see the world and how we see the world shapes our experience.”
“Sometimes stuff happens to you and sometimes you happen to stuff.”
I find it fascinating to watch how people respond to life circumstances. And let’s face it, there has been a lot of ‘life circumstances’ happening this year. It’s got me thinking a great deal about what responses are appropriate and what it takes to control our response to those things which are outside of our control.
I decided to do some reading on the psychological concept of locus of control thinking that it would help me break down people into two groups.
- Those that have an external locus of control being people who sees the events of their life and the world around them as happening to them, without having any control over.
- Those with an internal locus of control being those that can control their response to external events and recognize that they can always do something.
It turns out locus of control is more about people’s view of how success is achieved – whether it is completely within their control (internal locus) or success comes from luck or fate alone (external locus). As you could imagine, most people fall somewhere in between.
Regardless of that, this frame of thinking can be the springboard for how we approach the world. Generally, people will either lean more towards action or reaction. Action, being more in line with an internal locus of control, someone who creates the world that they want. And reaction being more about an external locus of control, someone who responds to the world as it happens to them.
This year has seen a great deal of things ‘happen to us’ and I am in awe of those who are creating the experiences they want, the life that they want and the cities that they want to live in. They are the people who are not overwhelmed by challenging circumstances and are creating positive outcomes where others only see tragedy.
As Hamlet put it, ‘nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.’