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Scott Eblin offers his take on lessons in the news and his advice on your pressing leadership questions.

The Three Things You Can Control

Wassana Mathipikhai/Shutterstock.com

A good friend of mine, who I’ll refer to here as Rick, is a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force. He’s approaching the end of a 20-year career and just got married a few months ago to a wonderful woman. A couple of weeks ago, much to his surprise, he found out that he’s going to be deployed for six months to a base on the opposite coast and possibly to the Middle East.

That’s not what he expected when he got married and signed a lease on a really cool town house. He is not, however, freaking out about it. He’s not super excited about the deployment but is totally taking it in stride. He understands that a deployment at this stage in his career is not something he can control. And, as he learned from an interview with Pat Summitt, the head coach emeritus of the Tennessee women’s basketball program who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago, there are only three things in life you can control.

They are:

  • Your attitude
  • How hard you work
  • How you take care of yourself

So, Rick is focusing on what he can control. He’s already identified the upsides of the deployment, is laying the personal and professional groundwork for the next six months and is sticking with the routines that keep him physically, mentally and emotionally healthy. He’d rather not be deployed at this point in his life but he and his wife are focusing on making the best of it by focusing on what they can control.

What’s your take? What are you doing to make the best of what you can control?

(Image via Wassana Mathipikhai/Shutterstock.com)

Executive coach Scott Eblin’s goal is to help you succeed at the next level of leadership. Throughout the week, he’ll offer his take on the leadership lessons in the news and his advice on your most pressing leadership questions. A former government executive, Scott is a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is the author of The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success.

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