We Can't Control the Actions of Others

If you build it- they still may not walk on it.
We can’t control the actions of others.
Which means, our motivation to do something can’t come from an external outcome, from expectations of another person’s reaction, actions or words.
When it does, & reality fails to meet expectation- disappointment, resentment, and anger results.
We have all experienced this, and the knee jerk reaction is to blame others for not meeting our expectations.
Perhaps your surprise of bringing donuts home to your family was met with kids being mad that you got the wrong type.
You put in extra hours to go above and beyond on a work project and no one recognized the extra effort.
A kind act for a stranger was not met with gratitude.
The phrase, “Won’t be doing that again.” is often muttered.
And if your motivation to do kind things, to do good work, to do what makes you proud, is fueled by externals, you just may follow through with the above proclamation.
Instead, recognize that no one owes you the response you have scripted in your head, that everyone has a story, and that your response has tremendous power to teach compassion- especially to kids ( “oh man, I didn’t realize you don’t like this flavor, that must have been a let down to see I got this type”).
I spend hours trying working on BMK, both on-site and online.
The posts and videos you see take up 2-4hrs of my day to write and make, and if I decided their success depended on the number of likes they got or likes my page has, I would be crushed a few times/ week when something I felt good about only got a few dozen responses.
When I’m on stage speaking, when I hit ‘post’, I can’t control the responses of those who read or hear my words anymore than I control if 6 year olds walk on the path.
That doesn’t mean that I stop caring, working hard and constantly trying to be better, do better.
What it means is that I don’t allow others to dictate my worth, happiness or success.
It means that I delight in building the path, not by the number of people who walk it.

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About Becky

Becky Schmooke (pronounced “Smoke”) is a Mindful Leadership Consultant and Speaker, focused on providing action based mindfulness and leadership training to organizations and businesses who are ready to do things differently.

Becky’s Mindful Kitchen, is located outside of Iowa City, and provides truly unique team building and leadership retreats,  strategic planning workshops, private parties and classes and weekly summer camps for kids. The commercial teaching kitchen, treehouse, archery range, bush craft skills, first aid training, wood fired pizza oven, chickens, baby goats and timber adventure playground provides endless opportunities for hands on activities.


As a mom to three girls, 60 chickens, 4 goats, 2 dogs and a fire fighter’s wife- life is never boring and provides Becky with endless stories which she uses to illustrate her approach to mindfulness in daily posts on social media.  

In all that she does, Becky has one goal, to build confidence in others to take action to live their best life, not just pass time.  

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