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Circle of Concern & Influence

This model is reflected by a famous quote by Reinhold Niebuhr: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference." Stephen Covey’s Circle of Concern and Influence is a mental model that focuses attention and effort on factors that lie within your influence, thus helping to shift you from being reactive to proactive.  WHAT'S IN YOUR POWER? The Circle of Concern encompasses areas that might impact you but are outside of your control and influence. This might include aspects of your environment, the behaviour of others, or external systems and processes. In contrast, The Circle of Influence encompassing factors that you can directly influence.  REACTIVE vs PROACTIVE.  Covey notes that reactive people primarily focus on factors outside of their influence, blaming external circumstances in a disempowering process that eventually reduces their influence. Meanwhile, proactive people focus their attention and activity on what they can influence which increases as a result.  IN YOUR LATTICEWORK.  An interesting model to combine with this is the Impact Effort Matrix, which helps to prioritise activity — in this context, it would contribute to a deeper understanding of factors within your control that will make a difference. Focusing on this model might improve your happiness, similar to models such as Ikigai.  The model runs in contrast with Diversification which encourages a broader approach. 

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