Three Buckets: What Do We Really Have Control Over?
Essentially, this is an exercise in perspective. While the nation continues to struggle through this crisis, we are all striving to adjust with stark variation to our established norms. These changes bring up anxieties and frustrations as we struggle to control whatever we can. This got me thinking about a metaphor which I was introduced to a while back. It deals with control.
Imagine that there are three buckets. Label the first bucket “Things I Can Control”, the second bucket “Things I Can Influence”, and the third bucket “Things I Can Not Control”.
Bucket #1: In bucket one, place those things that you have total control over. These are decisions that you consciously make every day. For example, the clothes that you chose to put on this morning, the food you purchase from the grocery store, what time you leave the house for school, work, etc.
Bucket #2: In bucket two, place those things that you think about and can influence but don’t have total control over. I use examples from friends and family here. My friends and family might call me for advice on a matter and I can influence their decision by giving them my thoughts. Ultimately, though, the decision is theirs and what they decide to do is up to them.
Bucket #3: In bucket three, place all the things that you have no control over whatsoever. These are things like the weather, traffic, sporting events, television shows, and the stream of items on your social media news feeds that you have no control over whether get posted or not.
- Which bucket was easiest to fill?
- Why do you think this might be?
- Which bucket was the hardest to fill?
- What does this suggest?
- How might control be an illusion?
- What is the difference between control and influence?
- Who might profit or loss from your influence?
- How can we best use our sphere of influence?
- What is one of your biggest takeaways from this activity?
- What can we do with the things we cannot control?