Focus On The Things You Can Do Something About

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 5.30.40 AM

Two frogs were playing together when suddenly they fell together into a bucket of cream.

One frog quickly realized he didn’t have any way to gain his footing to get out, so shortly afterwards he accepted his fate and slipped under the surface and drowned.

Horrified, the second frog watched his friend give up and die.

But he was determined not to go himself without putting up a fight. He wasn’t sure of the best thing to do, so he just thrashed around, doing whatever he could to keep himself afloat. In time, he began to notice that the cream was growing thicker. He kept kicking, and after a while he discovered that the cream had turned to butter and he could easily hop out.

Here’s the thing to remember: What happens within us is at least as important as what happens to us.

We all face challenges—that’s a given, in leadership, work and in life. It’s how we choose to respond that makes all the difference. And that can be tough to figure out, especially when things are difficult.

But if we don’t want to drown we have to focus on the action we can take.

Here are some helpful thoughts to help the next time you need to churn the cream into butter:

Focus on the route, not the destination. Most of the time, you can’t know what the outcome will be. And that’s OK. Even the worst possibilities are seldom as dire as drowning in a bucket. Stumbles and failure are part of success, so take your focus off the results you fear and concentrate on your best path forward.

Focus on what you have, not what you lack. Faced with a challenge, it’s easy to focus on what you’re missing. But there’s no better moment to take stock of who you are and what you have—within you and around you.

Focus on what you can do, and not what you can’t. It’s always going to be easier to give up rather than to fight. But it means you’ll never move ahead. Put up a good fight and keep it up until the end.

Focus on containing the challenge and not drowning in the drama.  We all know someone who seems to magnify every problem they encounter. Don’t be that person. If there’s drama, walk away. If there’s discord and blaming, don’t participate. Keep your focus on solving the problem at hand.

Focus on trusting yourself and not wavering within. Don’t allow anyone else to make decisions for you.  Remember, part of leadership is coming up with new ways of doing old things. Be the person who shows their leadership in times of challenge.

Challenges are tough and frightening. But, with the right focus, it can help you build a stronger version of yourself.

Lead from Within. When facing a difficult challenge we must focus on the things we can do something about—because struggling with challenges is a natural part of growing, developing, and leading.



N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now


Additional Reading you might enjoy:


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. Ferad

    19. May, 2015

    Hello Lolly, you amazing as a person, a person and a jewel can both shine. There so many little jewels that we to make a rather big difference to a happy world. Wish I could share with you!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Panteli Tritchew

    19. May, 2015

    “What happens within us is at least as important as what happens to us.” So true. Oftentimes, it’s the churning inside us that drags out far longer than the incident or the words where the perceived hurt happened.

    “Focus on containing the challenge and not drowning in the drama.” Great advice,Lolly. If we are going to churn (and we will!), we may as well aim for butter!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Enock Machodi

    19. May, 2015

    It’s here again. Lolly, this is motivating, this makes me wanna think from within, my conscience tells me that. It’s great that we are on the same thought route, only that you are ahead of me and I can only learn from u. Would u give me a chance to have u on my guest post please?

    Thanks a bunch Lolly.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Susan Mary Malone

    19. May, 2015

    I so needed this, this very day. Faced with a long road ahead with a loved one, ‘Focus on the route, not the destination’ was exactly what I needed to hear today.
    Again, thank you!

    Reply to this comment
  5. john paul

    19. May, 2015

    Thank you, Lolly!

    When we encounter positive behavior we can adopt it. If we encounter a fault within, we can transform it. That is the power of leading from within!


    Reply to this comment
  6. Hanou

    19. May, 2015

    Couldn’t agree more. Life is indeed about learning to turn cream into butter and find solutions to challenges that arise on our way. Great article.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Duncan M.

    21. May, 2015

    Leaders need to be strong and most important they need to find their strength from within. The pieces of advice you listed are also appropriate for real life scenarios, because you need to be an ordinary person first in order to be a great leader. Facing the fears and looking for solutions can help you overcome even the most difficult situations.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Bob Richards

    21. May, 2015

    Perhaps one should focus on the great motivational story they can inspire others with after they overcome the problem. Everyone can smile when all is good but when things are a challenge…well that shows character.

    Reply to this comment
  9. David Brooks

    24. May, 2015

    Thanks Lolly,

    I really enjoy reading your Blog!
    Your insight, advise, and encouragement not only help me navigate through life’s journey, it also helps me, help others.

    David Brooks

    Reply to this comment
  10. Chanel

    09. Oct, 2016

    It is really a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m happy that you
    simply shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Raghunandan

    02. Aug, 2017

    Awesome penning your thoughts Lolly. When a person thinks out of box for alternative solutions and possess the right attitude it reflects the determination and nothing cannot stop in achieving the target

    Reply to this comment

Leave a Reply