Circle of Influence

Dear readers,
I hope you all are faring well. It is a pleasure to be able to share with you all yet another interesting blog today.
In the last few days, I have been deliberating on some thoughts and I felt I share them with you all, more in the mood of trying to bounce off certain ideas and reflect on ways to improve communication and also integrate these ideas into our spiritual lives. The principle of our circle of influence is one which has been explained in a great detail by authors like Steve Covey in his books. To fully grasp the concept of the circle of influence one has to understand also the circle of concern. Both circles work and influence us in ways we know and may not know. In simple words, the circle of influence is those things we have some direct control over like our health, children, work etc. while the circle of concern is those things which are beyond our immediate control. These include the Government, National laws, etc.
There are two kinds of people who deal with these two circles; those who are reactive and those who are proactive. People who are proactive focus more on the circle of influence and expend their energy on things they have some control over and can influence. They know it is futile to spend energy outside this circle trying to fix things in the circle of concern. The circle of concern is outside their immediate influence and as such they do not spend their energy there. On the other hand, reactive people focus their time and energy worrying about things in the circle of concern and this worry translates into nothing tangible as there is almost nothing they can do to change anything in this area. The nature of reactive people is that they wait for a problem to happen before trying to do anything about it. Proactive people try to anticipate the problem and see what viable options are there for solving it before it even occurs.
In other to be able to anticipate a situation, one has to be abreast of what is happening in that situation. The activities and factors in our circle of influence are things we can keep an eye on and work to improve in some way or another. If we are distracted by things outside our circle of influence then it is certain that we would miss the opportunity to adequately prepare for those things inside our circle of influence. Many of us go through life subconsciously worrying most about things in our circle of concern, and as such find it difficult to live a successful and meaningful life. We worry about every other thing besides those things that really matter. As a spiritualist or someone one a path of spirituality we also would have to encounter this dynamic in our daily endeavor. There is a constant internal debate in the mind of a spiritualist as to which energy to feed; the lower or the higher. He has to consciously choose to feed his higher energy daily, as this is what he needs to grow and advance in his spiritual journey. Similarly, the spiritualist has to be careful to make the right decision when it comes to feeding one of the circles.
His daily spiritual activities and life choices would reflect if he is sober enough to be a proactive person or if he is unsteady and more of a reactive person. Now the beauty of spirituality is that it enables us to calm down, focus and place first things first. There is no doubt that the circle of influence has certain areas such as family, health, etc. however when one embarks on a spiritual journey and begins to understand the real nature of the self then he sees things as they are and pays more attention to things that really matter. In that light, the spiritualist has some more addition to his circle of influence. It includes all that is to be found in that circle normally but a little more. His circle of influence reflects how he uses those things that matter to better his spiritual practice. So, for instance, the family is a part of the circle of influence and as such he tries to see that his immediate family at least supports or partakes in his spiritual journey. This enables him to pay more attention to this circle because it also supports his spiritual journey. Understanding that he is not the body but the soul, he maintains the body to be fully functional to serve the Lord in his spiritual journey.
Thus, the Lord becomes a driving factor for the circle of influence for him and this makes his endeavor successful. If for some reason he comes to the path of spirituality as a reactive person, then he is sure to improve if he takes advantage of the process fully by applying himself. The process of meditation, mantra, positive self-affirmation, regulated and cruelty-free diet, prayers, association with like-minded spiritual people, yoga, etc. can also help re-center his purpose and make him a proactive and sober person. The non-spiritualist on the other hand who is not regulated in his bodily needs has little or no control over his emotions and as such it comes as no surprise when he is constantly reacting to matters that are outside his circle of influence. The materialist is preoccupied with the circle of concern because he is not even aware of whom he really is. When there is a lack of clarity about the real self then the foundation for positive growth is shaky, because decisions and life choices are made based on a false identity.
For instance, if one thinks they are their body instead of the soul then it is normal for them to worry about things that pertain to the body. From the misidentification of the body as the self, such people may become overly sentimental about nationalism, racism etc. They feel that being true their real self is to do everything that enhances the bodily identification. This, however, brings nothing but misery, as there cannot be lasting happiness based on temporary objects. The body is temporary and as such the happiness we derive from it cannot be permanent. To experience lasting happiness, we have to position ourselves in a situation that allows us to make choices that are lasting and from a place of peace. We can only experience real peace when we are sober and proactive. It is difficult to be peaceful when we are reactive and in distress.
Till next week, read, share and follow more.

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