A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending a Cincinnati Reds game with my Dad. Great seats and a great time. (Thanks a lot Mom for the tickets and the memories).
At the game I had one of my childhood dreams come true. I got a foul ball. Noticed, I said got not caught. The ball looked like it was sailing over our heads and the next thing I know the ball is sitting right next to me three chairs down. It actually got stuck in the seat – I did not even have to bend over to pick it up. It was really not that thrilling yet the result was the same. I walked away with a foul ball.
I can not tell you how many games I sat through waiting for a foul ball. As a kid I used to take my glove to the game so I could snag the ball out of the air. I dreamed of this, but up until a few weeks ago a ball never, ever came close to me.
This ball was a gift — I know it seems a bit random. But I did nothing at all to make it happen. I had no control over the ball. If I had some control, I would have walked away with a foul ball from every game I ever went to.
But I don’t. This morning as I reflect on the ball, I am thinking about things in life that we have no control over whatsoever. There are other things that we do have the ability to influence. There are other situations that we have the ability to make the outcome different.
Many times in life, obsess over the things we can not control and ignore the choices that can effect our lives in deep ways. There are indeed choices we can make: how we spend our time, who we are in relationship with, what we invest in, what we think about.
We can choose a lot of that. We can make good and not so good decisions.
This truth is not only true for individuals but also for families and organizations. Collectively, as a community, you can choose to worry and fret over things that you can not control. When that happens, we see groups skip over all things that they have actual influence over.
To ignore the choices you could make is to surrender your influence.
Where are you giving into to worrying about things that are out of your hands?
What choices — and thus, influence, — are you leaving on the table?
What influence is the organization or team you are apart of giving up because of obsession over things outside of your control?