Take a second and answer true or false to the following questions:
- Success is more about effort than it is about luck.
- Life is just one big roll of the dice.
- If I work hard, I can accomplish my goals.
- Because so many things happen outside of my control, I rarely make goals.
Before we go any further, make sure to pay attention to the ones you marked as true. Why does it matter, you ask? Well my friend, there is some evidence that how we answer those questions may determine how much money we make and how long we live.
But we’ll get to that in a minute.
The four questions above all have to do with the extent to which we feel we have control over what happens in our lives. Do we wake up in the morning feeling that we influence the rest of the day, or do we get out of bed and accept that life is all about the outside forces pulling our strings?
If you answered true to questions #1 & #3, you likely have what psychologists refer to as an internal locus of control. That means you believe you have control over what happens next.
If you answered true to #2 and #4, you likely have an external locus of control, which means you feel that you have little say in what is going on and your life is mainly controlled by external variables.
(If you answered true to all four, you probably weren’t paying attention.)
Picture it like this…if life is a video game, are you holding the controller, or is someone else?
Depending on our mood, we may feel like we’re on a locus of control teeter totter. On our best days, we take responsibility for our actions and tackle the video game feeling armed with cheat codes. On our worst day, the controller out of batteries and we complain about that darn Energizer bunny ruining our day.
We all have our highs and our lows, but, like bully buttons, we generally fall into one of two camps…innie or an outie. And this has a huge impact on our healthy, finances and relationships.
Research has shown that people with an internal locus of control are more likely to:
- Perform better at work and school
- Be happier in their jobs and lives in general
- Have better quality relationships
- Suffer less stress, anxiety and depression
- Cope better with problems
- Be healthier
- Earn more
- Live longer
I don’t know about you, but I want to live longer, make more money, have less stress and better relationships. So, the obvious question comes to mind: can I change my locus of control?
We’ll answer that next time on Blog by Bake…