The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

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What Is 'Locus of Control'?

Trying to control everything that happens to you is a recipe for disaster and frustration, and a waste of time and energy. Understanding your Locus of Control helps you separate what you can control from what you can't.

Focus on your efforts instead of results that you can't control.

Focus your energy on what you can influence, and let everything else go.

Josh Kaufman Explains 'Locus of Control'

No matter how much you want a particular job, after the interview is over, you can't control whether or not you get the job-you've done what you could.

No matter how intently you watch the stock market, you can't will the stock price of a particular company to go up.

No matter how much you'd like to retain a key employee or make a personal relationship work, you can't prevent them from leaving if they want to.

Understanding your Locus of Control is being able to separate what you can control (or strongly influence) from what you can't. Trying to control things that aren't actually under your control is a recipe for eternal frustration.

As much as we'd like to, we can't control everything that happens to us.

Natural disasters are a perfect example: if a tornado or earthquake destroys your house, there's nothing you can do about it.

As uncomfortable as it is to imagine, the environment contains many things we can't control. It's a fundamental aspect of life that we can't change, no matter how much we might want to.

Focus on your efforts helps you stay sane - turning results you don't directly control into Goals is a recipe for frustration. One of the reasons that diets drive people crazy is that they involve trying to control a result-weight-that is not directly under their control. If you focus on efforts-eating healthy food, exercising, and doing what you can to manage related medical conditions-your weight will handle itself.

Worrying about things you can't influence or control is a waste of time and energy. One of the best things I've ever done was choose to stop paying attention to the news-99.9% of the information you'll find in a newspaper or television newscast is completely outside of your Locus of Control. Instead of fruitlessly worrying about "what the world is coming to," ignoring the news helps me spend more of my time doing what I can to actually make things better.

The better you're able to separate what you can control from what you can't, the happier and more productive you'll be. Focus most of your energy on things that you can influence, and let everything else go.

Keep your attention on what you're doing to build the life you want to live, and it's only a matter of time before you get there.

Questions About 'Locus of Control'


"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

The Serenity Prayer


From Chapter 7:

Working With Yourself


https://personalmba.com/locus-of-control/



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The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

Buy the book:


About Josh Kaufman

Josh Kaufman is an acclaimed business, learning, and skill acquisition expert. He is the author of two international bestsellers: The Personal MBA and The First 20 Hours. Josh's research and writing have helped millions of people worldwide learn the fundamentals of modern business.

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