When it comes to life and business, it is no coincidence that some people always
seem to fail while others always seem to flourish. For sure, chance plays a role in
everything. But as individuals, as business-owners, as thinkers, and as parents,
we have a significant degree of control over our lives.
Now, we can use the control that we have to influence outcomes in bad ways. Or
we can use it to influence outcomes in our favor; and in the favor of those we
care about most.
When we use it poorly or when we don’t use it at all, it should come as no
surprise that our outcomes are bad. And when we use it thoughtfully and
carefully, it should similarly be less surprising when we succeed.
Let me give you an example. At work, your employer considers you for a
promotion; however, at the same time, she also considers several of your co-
workers for a promotion, too.
Now, as many do, you might immediately say ―there’s nothing I can do to
influence my boss in my favor. Instead, this decision will be determined by things
that are out of my control.‖ And, of course, when the day comes, you will not get
Instead, someone who pushed hard to demonstrate his worthiness for the
position will get the job. And you will be left wondering why that person is always
successful; and always gets promotions, raises, and the adoration of
You might even feel resentment towards that person, even though you consider
him a friend.
When it comes down to it, though, it wasn’t your friend who caused you to miss
the promotion (or at least not to give yourself the best shot at getting it). Rather, it
was your own behavior that prevented your boss from seriously considering you
as a candidate.
Fortunately for you, this book is all about situations just like the one we described
above. It’s about feeling powerless when you’re not; experiencing bad outcomes
when there’s no reason to; and finally, it’s about making sure this problem stops.