In his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey describes one of the key differences between successful people who make a difference in the world and unsuccessful people who don’t build the lives they want or make an impact. 

The model is based on two circles. 

  • The first is our circle of concern — the big circle. This includes most things in the world — the economy, the law the president just signed, global politics, the clothes your children want to wear, the way people drive their cars, etc. For all of these things, you ultimately cannot directly impact what happens, although all of these factors will affect you in some way. Spending your energy on these things is usually a waste of time.  
  • The second circle is our circle of influence — the small circle. These are the things you can do something about. The key is to focus your energy on the things in this circle since you can impact the outcome.

Successful people spend most of their time focused on the inner circle impacting their sphere of influence. The funny thing is, when you focus on the inner circle, that small circle over time grows bigger, ultimately resulting in a greater impact on the wider world around us. 


  • Where is your focus being spent today? Are you focusing on the circle of things you can influence, or are you putting your energy into things you cannot directly change? 
  • What is one thing you cannot control that you are spending too much time thinking or worrying about? 
  • What is one thing you can control that you should focus on more in your life?