Self-Care for Teachers Thought of the week Blog Post Dalai Lama Control Quote

Ah, control.

Such a juicy topic, isn’t it?

It’s so damn easy to say ‘just focus on what you can control’. In my experience it’s much easier said than done.

It’s good advice though, and I know it.

Like most things that are worthwhile but easier said than done, it’s a practice. That means it’s never really done or finished.

Like a yoga practice, or piano practice, or any spiritual practice, you have to keep showing up or any results you may achieve will quickly dissipate.

I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this, or the only one practicing it.

It amused me greatly when ‘control’ came up as the theme of the week in the Facebook Live I did last night, when I picked a theme from Daniela Falecki’s Teacher Wellbeing reminder cards.

So, I decided to make this quote about control the ‘thought for the week’.

“If you have control over an issue, why worry, because you can change it. If you do not have control over an area, why worry, you can’t control it.” ~ Dalai Lama

The concept of focusing on what I can control had been on my mind recently anyway.

On Friday I went to a business networking and development event with my husband, and they opened with some information from the book ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Steven Covey.

Have you read it?

It is one of my favourite books. Actually, I think it was the first or second audiobook I ever got on Audible, way back in 2008. (It might have been ‘The Simple Dollar’ by Trent Ham. One of them was first, the other was second, I can’t remember exactly.)

Anyway, in that book, Steven Covey explains that we all have a Circle of Concern and a Circle of Influence. Our circle of concern is all the things we’re worried about in the world.

It’s a pretty big circle.

Then there’s our Circle of Influence. It’s the things we are worried about that we can actually do something about.

Not surprisingly, it’s a much smaller circle.

Inside that is an even smaller circle called the Circle of Control, which are things we have direct power over and can actually change.

The problem is, most of us spend most of our time, energy and even our money on the Circle of Concern.

This then limits the resources we have to devote to the things in the Circles of Influence and Control (the ones we can actually do something about!)

So this week, why not take the advice of wisdom teachers like Steven Covey and the Dalai Lama, and shift your focus to the things you can control and change.

If it helps, you could try the suggestion on the Teacher Wellbeing card, and make a list of all the areas that contribute to your daily stress. Allocate this list into the different categories: concern, influence or control.

Then spend you energy on the ares you can directly influence and control.

It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it!

I’m grateful for this lesson from one of my favourite books, ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.’ You can get it on audio at Audible, and if you sign up through my podcast link you’ll get a free audiobook with a 30-day trial: go to

Do you have any favourite personal development books?

I’d love to hear your recommendations!

I recently gave my book recommendations to MyDeal.Com.Au when asked, and you can check out my suggestions plus some other great books in this article: “11 Books Every Millennial Needs to Read” 

P.S. I have linked to multiple sources here in this article. Honesty and integrity is important to me so I want you to know that if you join Audible after your trial period, I may receive a commission. I’ve been using them for 10 years commission free though, so I truly do love the platform. Daniela from Teacher Wellbeing also sponsors the podcast, but I was a fan of her and her products before that, and would use and recommend them regardless. Just thought you should know, though 🙂