Your Power Over the Outcome

Answer this question: What power do I have to determine the outcome of an event that has not happened? You might come up with several ideas, many that would be conditional on what you know about the details of the event.

Now answer this question: What power do I have to determine the outcome of an event I know nothing about but will affect me? This is quite different. Again you might come up with a few ideas of how being prepared and confident in your abilities you can control some of situations in the event. This may be true.

Third and last question: What power do I have to determine the outcome of an event I know is coming and do not have control over? This may seem like a hopeless question. How can we create an outcome or affect an outcome over and event we have no control over?

All three of these have one thing in common, they all have two outcomes. The first is the outcome of the event and the second is our reaction to that event or our personal outcome. In the first two we might be able to control both but in the third we only have control over how we choose to participate in the event.

Last week I participated in a training event and got to hear some other amazing speakers. One (John Morrison of York University) talked about morals in education and how our choices to control our own outcome can affect the outcomes of others. In particular he shared the story of Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale and the Stockdale Paradox. Here is someone with incredible self-control who “never lost faith in the end of the story”.

Focus on your own outcome first and you can positively affect the outcome of some of the events you have control over for the benefit of others.

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