Over the last few weeks the subject of ‘internal’ and ‘external locus of control’ has popped up in conversation three or four times.
Apparently, there is a general trend in society towards an ‘external locus of control’ which should, if true, make policy makers sit up and take note.
Locus of control is about the extent to which people believe they are in control of their own future. Those of us with an ‘internal’ locus of control believe we can shape what happens to us and those with an ‘external’ locus of control believe life happens to them. If people don’t feel they can influence what happens to them, then surely they’re going to rely much more on the State and on the goodwill of others.
Stephen Covey, in his hugely successful book ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ says:
“Be Proactive – Your life doesn’t just happen. Whether you know it or not, it is carefully designed by you. The choices, after all, are yours. You choose happiness. You choose sadness. You choose decisiveness. You choose ambivalence. You choose success. You choose failure. You choose courage. You choose fear. Just remember that every moment, every situation, provides a new choice. And in doing so, it gives you a perfect opportunity to do things differently to produce more positive results.”
It seems to me that:
At any given moment you have a choice. You either ‘want the world to change’ or you ‘want to change the world’.