The most crucial principle of building success is focusing on what you can control and accepting what you can't.
You've probably heard the phrase, "the only constant in the Universe is change."
Everything is changing around you all the time.
The law of entropy shows us that all things regress to disorder, to chaos. It is a constant of the Universe. Things are either growing, being maintained, or dying.
The sun is burning out. The Universe expands every second. So on and so forth.
To build success one day at a time requires massive and constant energy expenditure to keep entropy at bay.
Your ability to respond to the change—and hopefully grow stronger (antifragile)—is the skill/muscle you need to build and maintain anything.
When you are stuck, take solace in the fact that it will eventually change.
When you are winning, and everything is easy, know that things will change.
When you boil this all down to its core parts, you have a foundational principle that applies to everything you do—the framework of control.
Many people spend a lot of wasted energy on things outside of their control. They yell, kick, scream, blame, and feel sorry for themselves about things that aren't going their way.
The ironic thing about this behavior is how it brings the individual MORE of the very thing they claim to want to change. (I use the word "claim" here because much of the victim culture we see today is centered around power and attention and has NOTHING to do with actual change).
When you focus on things outside of your control, you give up your power to control your outcomes.
This is called your "locus of control."
If you have a strong internal locus of control, you have the agency and confidence to take actions to control your life.
When you don't have an internal locus of control, you have given up your agency to dictate how your life will go.
A lacking locus of control defines victimhood because it focused on externals, and the more you shine your light on things outside of yourself, the more you darken the things inside yourself, the things you can control.
Everything that happens in your life comes down to a SINGLE principle—what are you going to do about it?
If you are a victim, it is your responsibility to respond. When things don't go your way, no matter how morally wrong, legal or illegal, it is still your responsibility to respond.
Life is your responsibility. If you plan on living, it's up to you to respond... and only YOU can respond.
When you understand and accept this first principle of life, you can then ask yourself: "How do I act now to get what I want?"
No matter what has happened to you, your best response is always taking action that moves you closer to where you want to go.
Of course, this simple truism of human life is lost on many that slip into the victim narrative.
When you start feeling sorry for yourself, you feel indignation, and with it, a sense of entitlement that comes from victim status.
The danger here is how addictive these feelings can become. Like a drug, the more you complain and relive your victim status, the more central it becomes to your worldview.
This compounds as friends, family, and society reinforce the "poor you" and "the world is unfair" nonsense.
After long enough, your identity as the victim becomes so solidified into your psyche that you will manifest situations in your life that match your perceptions.
That's scary shit.
Going back to the "what do I want?" question, we see that the answer has nothing to do with being a victim or removing control of our destiny.
And that's why this can be so insidious; because if you don't stay laser-focused on what you want, you'll get pulled in the wrong direction.
Every ounce of energy spent on external circumstances keeps you further away from where you want to go.
This is why asking yourself two simple questions is so integral—what can I control and what do I want?
If you don't constantly remind yourself of what you're trying to achieve, you'll get swept up by something else. And there are always great forces at play that would gladly lead you in another direction.
What can I control?
What do I want?
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