I thought my discussion about Analysis Paralysis was done, but shortly after the previous post, my friend Nathan talked to me about Circle of Control vs Circle of Concern.  It came up in a discussion more about happiness and anxiety, but I felt like there was a connection between AP and Circles.
To summarize, for most people, our Circle of Control is smaller than our Circle of Concern.  Everything outside the Circle of Control that the person focuses on draws energy and focus from stuff inside the Circle of Control.  Misspent energy results in a reactive life, filled with reaction to external stimuli.  Shrinking the Circle Concern allows the person to focus on what they can control and not waste energy on what cannot be controlled.

So how does this relate to AP?  There are multiple types of game players out there, but let’s break it down into two groups.  Players who experience AP vs those who do not.  In a given game, every player has a defined Circle of Control, as per the rules of the game.  This is consistent across the board.  The win conditions of the game are in the Circle of Concern, but may or may not be in the Circle of Control.
For players that externalize themselves from the game, they understand that the game is its own ecosystem and that everything in the game is in their Circle of Control.  At no point are they subject to the whims of the game.  

What else is in the Circle of Control?  Depending on the experience level of the player, the results of the actions as they pertain to the win condition could be in the Circle of Control, or, in the case of an inexperienced or AP player, in the Circle of Concern.  As more results are revealed and analyzed, they fall into one of the two locations.  If a path from basic action to action result to win condition isn’t clear, processing on the action cannot be completed adequately.  Even in the path is clear, the possibility space may need to accommodate too many action results.  In either case, the Circle of Concern expands and fills up.