Complete List of Everything You Control by Darcy Eikenberg, PCC(1)

It’s been a challenging year in the workplace. #understatementoftheyear

Remote, hybrid, or in-person, we’ve all twisted ourselves in knots to make work – well —work.

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, confused, or even angry about what’s happening at work, you’re hardly alone.

But you’re here now, reading this post and ready to make work work for you again. Take a second and reach your right hand over to your left shoulder (or vice versa if that’s more comfortable) and give yourself a nice, firm pat. Good for you.

Recognizing you’re ready to take back control in your career is sometimes the hardest part.

Truth is, everyone wants more control and more power over their own destiny. We crave it, even if we find that hard to admit sometimes.

When we don’t have it, we generate what psychologist David McClelland calls “power stress.” That’s the tendency to get frustrated – even angry — when things don’t go your way. It happens to all of us, not only those of us who’ve labeled ourselves “control freaks” (you know who you are, my friends).

As part of the human race, you naturally hunger for more power and control over your destiny. It’s in your DNA.

I know this because there’s no limit to online distractions. Right now you could be giggling at cat memes, watching Jimmy Fallon’s bit from last night, or trying to decide if the latest TikTok dance is in your wheelhouse.

But you’re not distracted.

You’re on this very screen because you’re ready to accelerate control over whatever’s happening in your world of work.

Good for you. So, let’s get to it.

Ready? Here is the complete, conclusive list of everything in the world you control:

Everything you think.

Everything you say.

Everything you do.

Wait—that’s it?

Yep, that’s it.

So, that means everything else falls outside your control.

That can’t be true, Darcy. We humans now have incredible technology at our fingertips. We know how to manipulate the human genome. We can get virtually anything we want delivered to our homes within days or hours. We send humans into space for months at a time—and bring them back! Surely, we can control almost everything, right? Right!?


Here’s a sampling of what’s on the “things you don’t control” list –

•           whether or not you get the promotion

•           what your boss thinks of you

•           whether the product sells

•           whether you’ve helped or hurt

•           whether the stain comes out

•           how your colleague reacts

•           if the client likes it

•           whether the plane takes off on time

•           if the recruiter thinks you’re a good fit

•           whether your email gets opened

•           what the stock market will do

•           how your mom will feel

•           and more…

Yes, you can influence a lot of these items. And I’m going to share lots of tools to do that. But to have complete and utter power over them? Not. Gonna. Happen.

Changing your life at work without leaving your job or disrupting everything in your life starts when you realize where your unique power lies: in what you think, say, and do. That’s all.

But don’t fret. It’s enough.