The 8 Things We Control

Key Takeaways

  • So much of life is beyond our control, but these eight habits for success will put you in the driver’s seat as you go through life.
  • Being prompt, courteous and reliable are simple but powerful lifelong habits to develop.
  • Having a good attitude and putting in 100 percent effort 100 percent of the time will take you far in life.

How many times have you been around someone who’s had too much to drink at a bar, party or wedding? It’s not only embarrassing, but it’s often when their true self gets revealed. No one likes to feel out of control or exposed. While much of life is about dealing with things we cannot control, adopting these eight habits of successful people can give you a leg up. Several of these habits were adopted from The Four Referability Habits™ first introduced to me by Dan Sullivan of The Strategic Coach® Program:

  1. Show up on time. It’s been said that 80 percent of life and success is simply about showing up on time. I’m not just talking about showing up physically, but being emotionally, spiritually and mentally engaged as well.
  2. Finish what you start. If you say you’re going to do something, then make good on your promise and complete it. Everyone likes to be around (and hire) fiercely reliable people.
  3. Always give 100 percent effort. This is something you can control regardless of the situation.
  4. Put in the extra time. I’ve found that a 40-hour workweek is simply not enough time to get the essential work done that I have on my plate. I need to devote additional time to personal growth and continuous learning, and I suspect you do too.
  5. Be open-minded. Always be receptive to a new point of view or a new way of doing things. Something someone says or that you observe could end up making a huge impact on your life.
  6. Do what you say you will do. Again, this is about honoring your commitments, whether it’s a social engagement or a workplace deliverable. Completing a task and doing so on time will burnish your reputation as a “can do” person and set you up nicely for success in life.
  7. Have a good attitude. This is something that you can always control no matter what life throws at you. People like to be around optimistic people. Your true colors will show if you can maintain a positive attitude when life throws you curveballs.
  8. Say please and thank you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Say, “Please, help me.” Say, “Thank you for doing that for me.” We like being around people who always extend those courtesies and who remember to thank us for helping them out.


Mastering these eight habits will help you attract the right kinds of people in your life and will help you be successful no matter what you endeavor. So much of life is beyond our control, but these eight habits are things you can always keep within your grasp.

Until next time, enjoy. Gary

* The Four Referability Habits™ registered trademarks, protected by copyright and integral concepts of The Strategic Coach, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.  Used with written permission.

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One thought on “The 8 Things We Control

  1. This is great, Gary. I am posting it on my Facebook page, and I will be sending it out to the Lumen guys. God bless!