Monday, March 8, 2010

Time for a reset.

I'll be leaving for the airport Thursday evening to start my year long journey in Korea. I plan to teach English and travel while I'm there. With a bit of luck, I hope to gain some worldly knowledge and grow my "circle of influence".

What is a circle of influence? Imagine there is a circle inside of a circle. The inner circle is everything that you are capable of doing comfortably and with confidence because you've learned to do these tasks and got good at doing them. It can be anything from learning a new skill (a sport, a musical instrument, a job related skill) to overcoming a fear (a fear of heights, flying, or public speaking). When you are faced with a situation inside of your circle of influence, you always feel in control and confident that you can get this task done.

Things outside of your circle of influence, the outer circle sometimes called circle of concern, are your challenges in life. When challenges are presented, they are challenges because you are unfamiliar with the task at hand. There are many unanswered questions about how things can get done. It will be stressful and uncomfortable. There will be mistakes (aka learning experiences) along the way. Maybe you were able to avoid these situations in the past, but whether it is something you want to learn how to do or something you are obligated to do, these challenges will always be challenges that limit your life until you confront them.

You confront things outside your circle of influence by breaking out of your bubble by learning how to do something by devising strategies, taking classes, and learning through trial and error. You do it enough, and what you used to consider challenges has now become something you are good at. You will also realize you are not just good at doing that one more thing, but you are a lot more confident doing things related to your new skill, that you may have found to be difficult, maybe even impossible to do in the past. When you make this realization, so many more things feel like its within your grasp, you feel you are capable of doing so much you haven't done because you've increased your circle of influence.

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