Director's Message: Top 10 Things We Can Control

Jan. 30, 2009
With apologies to David Letterman, we would like to remind you about the 10 areas of your life that you have control over.

Top 10 Things We Can Control

Happy, Happy New Year!
I am a huge fan of David Letterman and his Top Ten Lists. My son programmed my DVR to record Letterman's show, I can now watch at my leisure. So in the spirit of late night talk shows, here goes my Top Ten List of "things we can control."

While we cannot control the weather, economic turbulence, death, or another's thoughts, we would do well to pay attention to the areas in our life that we can actually do something about.

1. Our actions. We alone are responsible for what we do.

2. Our words. Spoken or written, the words we choose impact our lives and the lives of others. "Words create worlds," Susannah Heschel reminds us.

3. Our beliefs. If our beliefs are grounded in fear or scarcity, that is what we will attract into our lives. When we focus on abundance, positive emotions, well-being, and prosperity, then we can create unlimited possibilities.

4. Our values. What's important to us is our call, vision, or what we hold special. No one else can tell us what to value, nor that what we value wrong.

5. Our work. Although many of us complain of being stuck or burned out in our profession, we actually do get to choose what our work in the world is and the meaning we attach to it.

6. Our friends/colleagues. Those we associate with say a lot about what we think about ourselves. We can choose to have friends who support us or who bring us down.

7. Our input. We can select our sources of news, turn off televisions and/or minimize our exposure to advertising.

8. Our time/focus. Though it sometimes feels like we have no choice, we do choose every day how we will spend the precious 24 hours a day. How many minutes of each day are we mindful? What we focus on is what we appreciate and/or what we can change.

9. Our health and well-being. We cannot completely control our DNA, yet upwards of 70% of illness can be prevented or delayed with lifestyle interventions. We can choose self-care strategies of sleep, exercise, nutrition, pleasure time, and relaxation to improve health, wellness, and peak performance.

10. Our legacy/contribution. All that we choose while alive — our actions, words, etc. — will become the gift we leave when we die.

Kristine A. Hodsdon RDH, BS
Director, RDH eVillage
Seminars for Well-Being and Peak Performance