Are You Able To Control Your Circumstances?


Are you?

Do you feel completely in control of your life, totally happy and fulfilled?

Or, like the majority of people are you unhappy about significant parts of your life?

The truth is you can control your circumstances and how you feel and act in response to your surroundings.

One of the key messages from Stephen R Covey’s book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is that you are “response-able”. You are not like a moth flying into a candle flame because it cannot change the way it responds to the stimulus of the light from the candle.

As a human, you are able to choose how you respond to your surroundings, to other people, to your circumstances. There is a gap between the stimulus from your senses and your response to that stimulus. In that gap, you can make a vital choice – your response!

For many people, this realization is a powerful and liberating thought that helps overcome very difficult life circumstances – loss of a job, a close relative, terminal illness…

Prisoners suffering terrible torture with no means of regaining their liberty have still found freedom in the knowledge that there is one thing that cannot be taken away from them – their freedom to choose how they respond to their circumstances.


“Response-ability” goes further than that – we are responsible for exercising the choice, for being proactive.

People who abdicate this choice, who let their physical surroundings, the opinions of others, their current circumstances control their responses are living in reactive mode.

To break out of this vicious circle, you need to subordinate your impulse to respond instinctively. You need to examine your values, what you consider to be important, before choosing your response.


Being proactive should not be confused with the kind of positive thinking where you tell yourself that everything is ok even when you are about to go broke or your spouse is about to leave you. Being proactive is not the same as being pushy and obnoxious.

It is just that when you are proactive, you are not controlled by your circumstances; you are free to choose how you react. You can choose to go with the flow and let circumstances control your response if you judge that to be the best thing to do, you can choose to stand up and make a difference, you can choose to look for a win-win result…


How do you respond to your surroundings, to other people, to circumstances? Are there times when you know you are failing to overcome your impulses…

Is there someone who always makes you angry, you can’t resist eating that enticing little snack or do you feel overwhelmed by your finances?

Stop!!! Don’t just react blindly.  Ask yourself “what is the best way for me to respond here, what will produce the best results?”…

… And make that choice!!!  Start living a proactive life today!!!

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