Part of it may come from HCOPL 31 JANUARY 1972,
It's actually a useful piece of advice, when applied correctly. When looking at a problem, or a bad condition, the most useful thing you can do is ask yourself "OK, what part of this is something which I have control over? Is there something about this which I can fix?". Then fix that piece, and take another look at what ELSE you might be able to fix.
Data Series 22
THE WHY IS GOD
When beings operate mainly on illogics, they are unable to conceive of valid reasons for things or to see that effects are directly caused by things they themselves can control.
The inability to observe and find an actual useable Why is the downfall of beings and activities. This is factually the Why of people not finding Whys and using them.
By believing that it is the fault of other divisions or departments, a staff member does not look into his own scene. "The reason 1 cannot load the lumber is because the Personnel Section will not find and hire people." It does not seem to occur to this fellow that he is using a WHY which he can't control so it is not a Why for his area. It does not move the existing to the ideal scene. Thus it is not a Why for him. Yet he will use it and go on nattering about, it. And the lumber never gets loaded. The real Why for him more likely would be, "I have no right to hire day laborers. 1 must obtain this right before my area breaks down totally," or "My department posts are too specialized. I need to operate on all-hands actions on peak loads."
Applied badly, it is a tool for sociopaths to conceal the fact that they've been screwing you over.
An example of a similar principle is the famous "Murphy's Law" ("If anything CAN go wrong, it WILL"). From one way of looking at it, it is a statement of pessimism. But the originator of it was an engineer. To an engineer, what Murphy's Law means is:
"If there is a way for something to go wrong, then it will eventually happen. So your job is to minimize the ways that things can go wrong."
If a part CAN be installed backwards, it will be. So design the part so it won't fit if somebody tries to install it backwards.
If a disaster will happen if power is turned on while a certain hatch is open, then design the equipment so that you can't open that hatch without first disconnecting the power. And so on.