Control What You Can Control

  By Chris Heinz  |    Tuesday April 26, 2022

Category: Motivational, Productivity, Recruiting

There is SO MUCH chaos going on in the world today.  Each of our lives is filled with distractions, challenges, and opportunities.  We have people coming at us from every direction, both in person and electronically.

Many of these things are entirely out of our capability to control. For example, to my knowledge, we can’t control the weather…we can’t control the government/politicians (except with our vote)...we can’t control what other people do in general…and on and on.

With so many things out of our control, one option is to find a corner of your house/office and curl up in a ball, and rock back and forth. 


We can CHOOSE to focus on the things we do have control over.  There are things in both our personal and professional lives where we can maintain both sanity and control.  If we focus on these things, we’ll be in a better position for success and happiness.

In the wonderful world of recruiting (and in life), there are only certain things you truly have control over:


What you say…

How you respond…

What you do…

How you think…


What you say…

In the past, what you said was purely from a verbal standpoint. However, in today’s technologically advanced world, ‘what you say’ comes in many forms:  conversation, email, text, social media, videos, zooms, and on and on!   

Regardless of the number of mediums you have for communication, YOU control your words!  You control the words you say and the words you type.  You control the tone…You control whether you are negative or positive…You control everything about your words.


Do you realize the power you have with these words?  You can build people up or knock them down with your words.


One added dimension of the written word, whether that be text or email is that those reading your message can’t read the tone or intent in the words.  So, you must understand this.  A great free tool to use to help with tone (and spelling) is Grammarly.  You can download it on Google Chrome as well as on your phone.  It will show you the type of tone being portrayed from the words you type.  (No, this was not a paid endorsement…but I am a customer!)


Connecting “what you say” into the world of recruiting and interviewing is very important. What words are you using to “sell” the opportunity?  What words are you using to communicate the process?  What words are you using to release someone from process? What words are you using when you make an offer?  Remember that YOU have control over every element of your communication!


How you respond…

You say something, verbally or in written form, and then they say something.  How you respond will make a difference in that interaction.  Everything said above covers this, but I wanted to make a specific point to keep “how you respond” front of mind.


What you do…

Let me start this section by stating that rarely can you control your actual results, particularly in the wonderful world of recruiting!  But, you have complete control over what you do, and you have full control over your effort!


While you can simply follow Nike’s saying of “just do it” each and every day, I would suggest planning for your days and weeks to give you the best chance to be productive.  An important element of effective planning includes creating a prioritization list–what are the things you must do tomorrow in order for you to consider it a day of impactful effort?


Once you create this list, do two things: 1) block out dedicated time on your calendar to do the task…and stick to that time block! 2) Since you now know the things you need to do AND have blocked out the time to do them, how about planning WHAT you’re going to say both in verbal and written form?  I know I know… it’s a crazy concept to be fully prepared for both when to do things and what you’re going to say!   While there is so much more that could be discussed in terms of planning, I’ll leave you with these initial thoughts.


How you think…

In addition to what you say, how you respond, and what you do, another incredibly important element of “control what you can control” is what you THINK!


You, and you alone, control your mind!  This means you control what goes into it, from the things you read, the conversations you have, and the shows you watch.  I can say with absolute certainty that your mind is affected by all of these things.  They will influence how you think.


I am a big believer in having a positive mindset.  Understand that I have this mindset still dosed with reality.  But, I would much rather be positive than negative.  To keep my mind focused on the positive I do several things that you may want to consider:

Listen to podcasts focused on growth, inspiration, and positivity (if you need suggestions, reach out to me on LinkedIn and I’d be happy to provide some)

Read/listen to books that can help you grow your mindset

Review who you follow on social media.  Do those you follow continually spew negativity or do they bring some positivity to your feed?

Find like-minded people and create your own mastermind group.  You don’t need to pay thousands of dollars to belong to one.  You can do it yourself.

Find a mentor that will hold you accountable


Let’s bring this subject of “Control what you can control” altogether.  These are an infinite number of things completely out of your control.  But, there are 4 categories of things that you have complete control over.  Over the next 4 weeks, work on each one individually (week 1-work on “what you say”, week 2-work on “how you respond” and so forth).  You won’t be perfect in just one week.  But, you should see improvements that will encourage you to continue with your growth.


If you can become your own expert on these four categories, you will see incredible improvements.  If you can control these things that you can actually control, the sky is the limit for you!  I’m rooting for you!

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