A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“After winning, I threw the ball into the crowd. Apparently, that’s unacceptable in bowling” (5/23)
“She made French toast and got her tongue caught in the toaster” (5/22)
“The universe is made of protons, neutrons, electrons and morons” (5/22)
“The job requires me to get a potato clock” (get up at eight o’clock) (5/22)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (5/22)
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Entry from July 01, 2016
“Control the controllables” (business adage)

"Control the controllables” is a popular saying in business, government and sports. One should control what one can control and not stress about the uncontrollable factors.

“Discretion in National Budgeting: Controlling the Controllables” by Lance T. Leloup was published in Fall 1978. However, “control the controllables” began to be frequently cited in print only until after 2000.


Fall 1978, Policy Analysis, pg. 455:
Discretion in National Budgeting: Controlling the Controllables
By Lance T. Leloup

15 December 1990. Journal Record (Oklahoma City, OK), “Psychiatrist offers tips to help reduce stress”:
Stress can be defined as any situation or event that forces us to change or adapt, and the holiday season seems to do that, says Dr. Murali Krishna, psychiatrist and medical director of St. Anthony Mental Health Center in Oklahoma City.
(...)
“The key is to be in charge,” he said. “You decide what demands you can meet. You can control the controllables and be realistic.”

Google Groups: alt.usenet.offline-reader.forte-agent
Parental Control Agent
Brian Ross
5/11/96
(...)
Not my favourite way to spend time. My daughter doesn’t want me there most of the time anyway. Hence, passwords and other means to limit what she has access to. I have no control over machines in other peoples homes but, I can control what I have access to. I can control the controllables. As for all the rest, I just hope for the best.

Google Groups: rec.photo.digital
film scanner vs digital camera
Barry Pearson
1/9/02
(...)
But “control the controllables” - if you have the opportunity to take risk out, do so.

Google Groups: comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets
Font sizes - Best practice… px vs. em
Barry Pearson
9/26/03
(...)
But there is a very well known strategy to adopt, whenever we are being buffetted by diversity that is bordering on near-anarchy:

“Control the controllables”.

Some things ARE under our control. We can control them and hence reduce complexity.

Google Books
The Game Plan:
Your Guide to Mental Toughness at Work

By Steve Bull
Chichester, West SUssex: Capstone Publishing Limited
2006
Pg. ?:
The old adage ‘control the controllables’ is unquestionably the most commonly used phrase in the world of sport psychology. I will often advise athletes that if they don’t remember anything else about our conversation, be sure to remember this one phrase. It is invaluable.

OCLC WorldCat record
Job search magic : insider secrets from America’s career and life coach
Author: Susan Britton Whitcomb
Publisher: Indianapolis, IN : JIST Works, ©2006.
Edition/Format: eBook : Document : English
Contents:
Control the Controllables --

Twitter
Gloria Booth
‏@Gloria_Booth
Heard great tip for anyone in business.  “control the controllables and forget the rest” (ie don’t worry about what you can’t control)
1:12 PM - 6 Apr 2009

Twitter
Owain Hunt
‏@orhunt
“Control the controllables.” Phrase from work. But also kinda how I operate. Take care of what you can, don’t stress about the rest.
6:33 PM - 20 Oct 2009

OCLC WOrldCat record
Control the controllables… : investment insights
Author: Mark Cliff
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: Personal Finance Newsletter, n370 (Nov 2011): 7-9
Database: SA ePublication Journal Collection

Eat, Teach, Run, Repeat
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Control the Controlables
Many years ago during my first year of coaching volleyball, I gave a speech at the homecoming pepfest about controlling the controlables. The point was that during the game of volleyball a player cannot control the other team, her teammates, the refs, the fans, etc. However, she can control how much she is going to give, how hard she is going to play, her attitude, and her encouragement of her teammates. That same principle could be applied to life in genearl: control what you can in life and let the rest roll off your back. I need to start following the advice I gave to my players 15 years ago. I spend way too much time rudimenting over things that I have no control over. Instead, I need to realize that if I control the things I can and let the rest roll off my back, I will be much happier and accomplish a lot more. So what exactly can I control?

Google Books
Creating Joy and Meaning for the Dementia Patient:
A Caregiver’s Guide to Connection and Hope

By Ronda Parsons
Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield
2015
Pg. 58:
There is an old saying that I have learned to live by. “Just control the controllables.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Friday, July 01, 2016 • Permalink