Mark Blasini


Having control vs. exercising control


In the last post, I gave a definition of control as the ability to produce desirable outcomes and/or stop undesirable outcomes. However, it's important to clarify an important distinction betweenhavingcontrol andexercisingcontrol.

Having control means simply that the capability is there. It's a space, an option, a freedom that is accessible to you.

Exercising control means that you are actively using that space, taking advantage of that option.

A person, for example, has control over his or her money. She is free to spend it however she'd like. However, to take advantage of that control, to exercise it, she'll need to think about her expenses - what she will spend it on, what she will choose to do with it.

The other part of strategic living isn't simply to gain greater control, but to exercise the control you do have in a way that allows you greater control in the future.

A person who exercises control over her spending by putting that money into investments increases her spending ability later.

We can then add a question in whatever situation you're in:Will exercising control now allow me greater control in the future?