Do you have an external or internal locus of control? No, I am not talking about some spirituality, mantra chanting, nonsense (my word for incense) burning, yoga bending ritual… I am asking…
Who Controls You?
Not that long ago one of my 9-year olds (we have three of them), once again, taught me an important lesson. I asked (told) him to do something. To which he said “You’re not the boss of me.” He did not say this in anger or as an affront to my position as parent, but rather a statement of fact. I said “Oh, really?” He said “Yes sir, I am responsible for me.” This is not all that unusual in my house. We have many conversations that others find unusual for parents and 9-year olds to have. The other day on the way to school we discussed the differences between punishment and consequences for 20 minutes. But I digress…
Back to you… are you in control of your job search or are you a ship without a rudder being tossed about the sea? You can either LET things happen TO you or you can MAKE things happen FOR you. The red pill or the blue pill? The choice is yours.
How to have an Internal Locus of Control
Freakonomics Radio recently released a podcast on How to Be More Productive. In it Charles Duhigg, the Author of Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business talks about how important it is that you have an internal locus of control. Duhigg also explains how to use that to influence others and yourself.
Do you believe that you have gotten to where you are through YOUR hard work and determination or has it been by chance? You must make yourself realize that you control your choices, which control outcomes. Yes, unplanned things happen… cancer, death, heart break, job loss, etc… But you and you alone control how you react to those things. To say that I do not believe in predestination is an understatement. I believe in free will and you need to exercise yours.
I Do What I Want
You need to realize that you do what you want. As Denzel Washington said in The Book of Eli “there is always a choice.” You do not HAVE to go to work. You do not HAVE to take your kids to soccer. The list goes on… You GET to! Saying to yourself and others that you GET to do things changes the locus of control. I have a good friend who always says the same thing when he gets a weekend to himself. I ask “what are you going to do this weekend?” To which he replies “whatever the hell I want to” with a smile on his face.
So, what do you GET to do today? Both in your life and in your job search? Are you going to reach out those people who work at the company where you want to work or are you going to wait for the universe to come to you?
The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.