Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence

We would like to share a mindset for those who wish to work on environmental issues or projects. It’s adapted from the late Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and is called the Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence.

The Circle of Concern are things which you have little or no control over. The Circle of Influence are things you can do something about. The Circle of Influence is usually smaller and inside the Circle of Concern.

If you start by focusing your time and energy on the Circle of Concern, you tend to get nowhere and feel frustrated because you realised that things are not changing. This affects you and you start to lose interest or feel lost, thus making your Circle of Influence even smaller.

On the other hand, if you focus your time and energy on your Circle of Influence and change things that you have some control of, you feel better and more confident. You gain momentum gradually and start to be able to enlarge your Circle of Influence. And over time your Circle of Influence would be larger than your Circle of Concern.

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