Monday, August 3, 2009

Locus of control, where is yours?

If there is one thing that has affected me more than leaning about where I decide my locus of control to be I'm not sure what it is!

What i s a 'locus of control'?

Without going into the full psychological explanation it really means do you control your world or does your world control you?

I wrote a piece about this on WLR when I first joined about cause and effect. It is essentially the same thing.

Those whose locus of control is internal believe that how they feel (so by definition how happy they are is determined by themselves (internally). Those who have an external locus of control believe that events beyond them determine their state of mind.

Stephen Covey in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People describes it as three concentric circles the first one being very small. This is us and it is where we have most influence (control?). A little further out there is another circle which is our immediate world (family, work ect.) and beyond that there is a much bigger circle which is the rest of the world.

It really does not need a genius to work out the further away you are from the centre the more powerless you will feel.

I can honestly say that I have never met someone who has a very external locus of control who is generally happy. Because they are trying to control a world which is way beyond their control, and the more they try the more powerless they feel.


Spend more of your time 'closer to home'. Deal with the world from a point of cause rather than effect, as at cause you have the greatest influence and therefore the greater feeling of power.

Sade on WLR asked me to relate more of this to my own experience. So here goes..........

I first came across the idea of living at cause or effect/locus of control when I was studying NLP. It made so much sense I really just took it on board and started to 'live out of that belief' and noticed the difference it made to me and those around me. My studies also (in a round about way led me to the philosophy of Taoism, which almost takes this idea to an extreme!

Essentially every experience I have had since learning about cause and effect has underpinned what I now know to be true. I am happier knowing that I work at controlling my world not the world.

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