Maybe it’s the sour economic climate. Or the seemingly endless cold, snowy weather. Or my mountain of a to-do list. Seems like my life is a little out of control lately. Sometimes I over-react and try to control things that really aren’t mine to fix, just to find some sanity. (Hint: That doesn’t work.)

Finding balance and expending energy on the RIGHT stuff is getting harder to do.

In every situation, there are aspects that I can Control, Influence, Manage for and Accept. At Humanergy, we call that CIMA. (We really love acronyms, don’t we?)

What do I Control? I can’t control others’ attitudes, work habits or ideas. I can control my own thoughts, attitudes and choices. I choose to focus on what I can do. (And I choose to focus on the fact that it’s sunny today! It’s 8 degrees, but it’s sunny!)

Who do I Influence? Our choices influence others. Our behaviors can have enormous influence on those in our inner circle – our friends, family, siblings and close co-workers. Seek positive connections with others. And  remember that even small things can make a difference in the world. I was walking my dog this morning and came across a very somber woman. I smiled and said “good morning” in my cheeriest tone. A tentative smile was returned, and perhaps she’ll share that smile with the next person down the road.

What can I Manage for? Even if we can’t directly control or influence something, we can take action to reduce the negative impact. Look ahead for the possible curve balls and plan now to moderate their effects. I moderated the impact of the weather by dressing appropriately. Was I cold? You bet. Did I walk anyway and reap the benefits? You bet.

What must I Accept? There are aspects of life that we can’t control, influence or even manage for completely. We cope, and that’s about it. I live in Michigan, and it’s going to be cold and gloomy a lot of the winter. I am resisting the urge to even comment on the weather, because feeling sorry for myself doesn’t change it. Accepting doesn’t mean liking it; it means not whining about it.

Next time you’re feeling out of control or the urge to control everything in sight, try these 4 questions to recalibrate:

What do I Control?

Who do I Influence?

What can I Manage for?

What must I Accept?

Try CIMA at work and at home. Everyone around you will marvel at your Buddha-like calm. You’ll feel better. You’ll be more productive. CIMA won’t produce a stock market rally or 80-degree weather, but those are amazing results!

Have a question or want some input from Humanergy about this topic? Contact us and we’ll get right back to you!