Tips From 7 Habits: Circle of Influence

Today in my reading Covey explained the Circle of Influence and the Circle of Concern.

The circle of concern is everything that can and do worry about: war, our neighbors, other people, crime, the economy, etc. The circle of influence is everything within the circle of concern that we can do anything about, or have any degree of control over.

So the point is, to identify things that we spend time and energy worrying or thinking about, but that we cannot do a single thing about, and to quit doing it. You can then take that time and energy, and focus on things within your control, such as improving yourself and your life.

If you really think about this, you’ll find that you do waste a ton of time and energy thinking and worrying about things that you have absolutely no control over… so stop doing it. When you really let go of some of those worries for good, it’s very liberating.


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About The Author


Nate is a blogger, fitness enthusiast, and designer.


  • Jay

    Reply Reply August 19, 2011

    I completely agree. It makes very little sense to spend a lot of time worrying and agonizing over that which you have no control over (the old “paralysis by analysis” syndrome).

  • ChrisN

    Reply Reply September 20, 2011

    I’m gonna start some controversy here, especially among Americans I would imagine. (I’m from the UK myself)

    When I first came of age and I was allowed to vote, I read everything about every party. What they were going to do, how they were going to do it etc.

    I educated myself on what these people SAID they were going to do and made a decision on who I would vote for based on this research.

    The result?

    The party I voted for got in, and, they didn’t do what they promised to.

    Lesson learned: Why bother voting? They have their own agenda, no matter what they ‘promise’. I have never voted since and I certainly don’t waste my time following politics.

    I can see American responses being in the… ‘But you are giving up your constitutional rights’ area.

    Where are your rights when you are lied to by a potential government?

    Off topic? Perhaps but voting is out of my CIRCLE OF CONCERN.

    ‘But your vote counts!’

    Bollocks! My vote is worth less than a spec of dust in the grand scheme. If the voting system is honest of course.

    ‘If everyone took that attitude….’

    They don’t and neither will everyone take that attitude. Find a real argument.

    Another light hearted comment I hope you’ll appreciate. 🙂

    • Nate

      Reply Reply September 21, 2011

      I kind of feel the same way- with the electoral college the popular vote makes a very small difference. But I’ll admit right now I don’t know that much about how it all works and I do not follow politics at all. Don’t care.

  • ChrisN

    Reply Reply September 21, 2011

    Same here Nate,

    Since then I really have no idea what goes on in the political world. Time is better spent concerning myself with me and mine! lol

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