“Internal Locus of Control” What it is and Why You’ll Be Pissed At Mommy 

Hello Everyone,

As always, thank you for the continued reading and support. It makes this so much easier knowing this great knowledge will be passed along, or at the very least, glanced at. 

Have you ever read something that it was almost impossible to summarize? That if you’re into highlighting, like I am, that literally 30% of most pages are highlighted? This is one of those books. I’m definitely OCD when it comes to highlighting, but this book is 0% fluff. It’s all golden knowledge and rules to live your life by. I can’t summarize chapters of this book for you. That wouldn’t do the book credit and I’d merely be copying and pasting the entire 559 pages.

What I can offer you is analysis and listing on key terms expressed. If you never read this book, these will be the sparknotes, if you will. 

Part 1 will be all about the concept of “internal locus of control.” I’ve run across this in a few great books now, so it must have some weight.

Definition: Fancy way of saying you control your own destiny. Aren’t you glad you read my post? 🙂 No, while that is the definition, where is came from and it’s implications are worth investigating. I’ll describe it by telling you another story.

When I was a child, I was quick to arithmetic. I was able to do complex problems, for 1st-2nd graders, quite easily. I would simply visualize the numbers arranged in my head and calculate. My teachers quickly picked up on this and I aced every test that came. My teachers would tell my father, “how smart I was”. And I sure felt it. Pretty soon, the word smart was thrown around the dinner table like passing salt. School was easy and forever would be….i thought. 

Believe it or not, telling a child they’re gifted at something or hinting at an inherited trait that they uniquely possess is actually DETRIMENTAL TO THEIR GROWTH. Why? Because they come to assume it’s their gifts/talents, are solely responsible for everything in their lives. They never factor anything else. Like “effort”. 

I breezed through to 5th grade, but then things changed. Why? Because now homework assignments were mandatory and graded. Problems needed to be defined and then solved. There could actually be multiple right answers to any given question. Instead of adjusting, like the rest of the students around me, I was lazy and never did any homework. If a problem was difficult or if I didn’t get a concept initially, I overlooked it. Not that I knew this at the time, but looking back it’s because whenever I didn’t understand a concept initially, I thought it was because I was stupid. If what made me understand arithmetic was my smarts, then my lack of smarts had to be the culprit of my deficits in other subjects. 

Of course, this is nonsense looking back on this. It is a completely illogical argument, but I was 11 remember. And this fear of failing turned into fear and depression pretty quickly. I started applying this to everything. Can’t talk to girls? I wasn’t born with the capacity. It just wasn’t meant for me. Luckily for me, I’m figuring this out at 25:) 

Now let’s reverse this. Let’s give me a good internal locus of control. If instead of calling me smart after I receiving a 100% on a test, my teachers commended my work ethic and processing, I might be a completely different person. Maybe not emotionally, but academically, that is certain. When a problem would stump me, I would work extra hard to figure it out. When I got good grades in the future, I would think of the studying and prep I did. I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog because I’d have a great job at this point in my life. 

Ok, story time is over. 

The point of this all is that if you want to achieve something, you damn well can, if you have the right mindset and put the work in. When you fail, don’t attack yourself, attack your process and reassess it for the next endeavor. That is evolution ladies and gentlemen for the present climate. Think of yourself as a machine that is finely tooled. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and be honest. Turn your weaknesses into strengths or learn how to adapt to them. NEVER IGNORE THEM OR COVER THEM UP. They will show their ugly heads some way or another (bad relationships, intimacy problems, addictions, withdrawal, social isolation). 

As you can see, there is a lot to unpack when it comes to this book! I will write again on it soon.

As always best wishes

Jeffrey Joseph 

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