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Circles of influence

I love the replies I get to these emails. Additional snippets of information, tales of success or failure, occasional confessions and new ideas.

One came through last week in the midst of a particularly hectic few days about ‘circles of influence’. An expansion on the wish for ‘serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference’ – but focused more on people.

In this case it was based on numbers of people at each ‘level’, and is a way of reminding yourself how many people fall into each group, and what attention you should pay them. For example:

  • Immediate family
  • Parents, siblings, near family
  • Employees
  • Clients
  • Close friends
  • Local community
  • Rest of the world

The difficulty perhaps comes where priorities collide. You might, for example, value time with your closest friend more than your most-difficult client…

But it helps to focus on what’s important to you. Where you should pay attention and – crucially – where you shouldn’t.

Interestingly, when you start to really narrow it down the numbers of people who are truly, genuinely important to you aren’t that high. Next time you hear something on the news that angers you (i.e. next time you listen to the news), consider what you’ll achieve by reacting to it.

Then consider what you’ll achieve by sending a quick message of hello how are you to that good friend you’ve been a bit too busy to contact this last few weeks.

Best wishes,