The Pandemic is not in charge

What will we find in 2022? What will we do?

There are two sides to life: what happens around us, and how we respond. The concept of “locus of control” was developed by Julian Rotter in 1954, and it refers to the degree to which people believe that they, as opposed to external forces outside their control, determine their lives. Those who feel in control have an internal locus of control, while those believing their lives are more in the control of others, or fate or luck, have an external locus of control.

The concept is seen in the Starfish story. A boy was throwing starfish into the sea as the tide had washed them up and they would die on shore. A man walked up and said you can’t possibly make a difference, as there are hundreds of starfish washed up on shore. You can’t save them all! The boy simply picked up another starfish and threw it back into the sea. “I made a difference for that one” he said.

So again, what will 2022 bring, but perhaps more importantly, what’s in our control and how do we choose to live our lives?

I quit fakebook almost a year ago after being fake-checked by some idiotic fact-checking vendor outside the US hired by fb. It really pissed me off, and I decided to take a social media break (except for LinkedIn, a tool for my work.) You see, I am not going to let idiots enabled by big tech affect my state of mind. For that matter, any idiots anywhere. And then around July or August this year, I remembered locus of control. My mantra changed from “this pisses me off” to “Live each day well” and “Do the best I can with what’s in front of me.” I changed my locus of control, my attitude about what controls my life.

By focusing on what is in my control, I’ve been able to maintain a healthy mindset in a world that’s a bit messed up. Come to think of it, the world has always been a bit messed up. It will not get all fixed in the next election, the Davos summit, the environment meetings, etc. Sure, I can support things I believe in (and I do), but my focus is to do my very best with what–the tasks, the priorities… the people–right in front of me.

This blog is not about compensation, benefits or total rewards. (Although locus of control is the principle guiding incentive design, wherein we try to ensure sufficient “line of sight” i.e. belief that a person has some control over the performance that determines their incentive.) This blog is about how we live and cope, at least in my experience.

My hope is that we can all live each day well. Let’s do our best with what (and who) is right in front of us.

Health and peace to you in ’22.

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