The Illusion of Control and the Circle of Influence

Some Things Cannot Be Controlled — Even By the US, the EU, or the UN

In the 1970’s, Ellen Langer, a researcher from UCLA, demonstrated evidence for a phenomenon she called the illusion of control…

Time and again, research has demonstrated that intelligence, knowledge, and reason notwithstanding, people often believe that they have control over events in their lives, even when such control is impossible. __ PsychCentral “The Illusion of Control”

The illusion of control is particularly strong when it comes to governmental and inter-governmental issues. Politicians and politically connected cronies in business and the media take advantage of this mass illusion to press for particular government policies or to push support for particular candidates.

Circle of Influence vs. Circle of Concern

Thirty years ago, Stephen Covey published the book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” The first habit was “Be Proactive.” The author distinguished between the things a person could actually control, vs. the much larger number of items which people often obsess over — but which they cannot control to any meaningful degree.

Circle of Influence vs Circle of Concern
Image Source

If we want to change our situation in life for the better, we can spend our time more wisely focusing upon the things that we can change. Steven Covey contrasted “proactive people” who often accomplish far more than their share, with “reactive people,” who spend more time excusing their failure to achieve, blaming everything and everyone around themselves. Proactive people work with what they have to create something better, while reactive people tend to wait for people and institutions around them to create perfect conditions, before they are willing to exert themselves.

Reactive people take a passive stance – they believe that the world is happening to them. … They think the problem is “out there” – but that thought is the problem. Reactivity becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and reactive people feel increasingly victimized and out of control.

Proactive people, however, recognize that they have responsibility – or “response-ability.”

It is our willing permission, our consent to what happens to us, that hurts us far more than what happened to us in the first place – STEPHEN COVEY

In order to be proactive, we must focus on the CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE that lies within our CIRCLE OF CONCERN – in other words, we must work on the things we can do something about. __ Source

Reactive people often think of themselves as “oppressed victims” who deserve reparations or special preferences such as affirmative action. Proactive people refuse to accept the label of victim, and work hard and smart to create better conditions for themselves and their loved ones.

Proactive vs. Reactive Personalities Often Have Different Politics

The delusion of utopia is far too common among college educated youth these days. They believe that governments and inter-governmental agencies can control the universe around them to such an extent as to be able to create a utopian vision of perfection — as long as they are the ones setting the policies. Perhaps their intentions were once clean and good, but their willingness to use looting, arson, and even murder, reveals their inner nature far better than any words or purported policies ever could.

Originally Taken off Facebook by Source

Setting out with the intent of creating heaven, they create hell before taking three steps from home.

These Children Were Never Truly “Raised”

When children and youth never learn personal competence and never learn to set priorities within their circle of influence — as opposed to being perpetually lost in their “circle of concern” — they reach an uneasy state of “quasi-adulthood” without the tools to become fully human. As a result, they are unable to live outside of urban areas where all services are provided for them. Many of them never learn to exist outside of inbred institutions — essentially ideological echo chambers.

When they take to the streets, they do so with carbon-copy rules of groupthink that have been given to them in top-down style by “those who set the rules and write the talking points.” This is all done in true Orwellian style, with not a hint of irony or introspection.

You do not need to understand very much about political philosophy or political economics to understand the ultimate downfall of these overgrown mind-children. Just understanding the way their minds were shaped willy-nilly by the external forces of the day — without solid internal grounding — is enough to understand the doom that awaits them and their cause, ultimately.

The irony of these overgrown children is that they believe they are being proactive by taking to the streets. But they are cannon fodder for other men who issue their marching orders and who exist far above the pay grades of these “phony soldiers for hire.” In other words, their words do not mean what they think they mean — and their actions in particular do not lead to the things that they imagine. It could never be otherwise.

When Your Delusions Impact Reality, it is Not Reality That Crumbles

We are living in a time when large numbers of college educated people have very little practical value to the present — much less to the future. This is due to the nature of what is being taught in colleges today. This alone is a crime, but compounding that crime is the fact that universities are driving large numbers of young people and their families into lifelong debt, to pay for the travesty of miseducation that takes place under the banner of “higher education.”

When the Bolsheviks took over the Russian Empire, it took almost 75 years for reality to shatter the delusion of Russian communism. In the US, today’s equivalent of Bolsheviks are rallying to try “by any means necessary” to negate any meaningful election laws and to remove any restraint by the US Constitution on tyrannical action by public officials. Here is one example of such a proposed tyrannical action. They have already succeeded so far with the Chinese coronavirus lockdowns. Now that they know what they can do, there is no end to the shenanigans they can perform to shape their new utopia.

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. These people have the highest regard for themselves and their ungrounded groupthinking ideologies. They really believe that anything at all is justified for their cause. Prepare yourselves accordingly.

It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood © .

More on circle of influence vs circle of control:

from “Evolution Partners” Slideshare

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