Most of the things that get me upset fall into two categories: 1) minor indignities of daily life that quickly pass, such as getting cut off in traffic, or 2) macro events that I cannot plausibly effect.  The former tend to be self-correcting. The latter will turn me into a cortisol factory if I let them.

The point is to avoid getting perpetually stressed out over things I can’t do anything about. It’s not that I don’t care, but I try to focus my engagement where I do think I can make something of a difference, even if small scale …

Our circle of concern should be bigger than our circle of influence, because that’s how we grow. We expand our influence into new areas this way. But if our circle of concern is too much bigger than our circle of influence, then we end up distracted from focusing on the things we can do something about or the things we are actually primarily responsible for. What’s worse, because we can’t do anything about the things that are inside our circle of concern but outside of our circle of influence, we get eaten up with useless worry, etc. This is the zone of negative energy where our cortisol levels spike up and our effectiveness decreases and our health can even be jeopardized.

Aaron Renn, The Masculinist 29. This newsletter is only available by email, not RSS, but there is an archive and a form for subscribing.

Caveat emptor. I probably disagree with Renn about 1/3 of the time on his “masculinity” ideas, but he’s a sort of (Evangelical Protestant) complement to Jordan Peterson, and you don’t have to wade through hours of YouTube videos.