Most of us like to imagine ourselves in control of our lives. We imagine ourselves at the reigns of our thoughts, decisions, and actions, but are we really in control? What is control anyway?
This post isn’t a discussion about whether we actually control our destiny. Regardless of outcome, people who choose to think and be positive, focus on their reactions to the things outside of their control, and plan proactively by setting goals and building effective routines have much more control of their lives than people who don’t do these things. What I am asking you today is, are you choosing to live your life, do you have a purpose, or are you just reacting to whatever life sends your way?
Many people talk all their lives about their dreams, their missed opportunities, or what they could do if they chose to. When the alcoholic proclaims that they can “quit anytime they want” are they in control? When someone hates their job, but refuses to leave are they in control? When someone stays in an unhealthy or abusive relationship even though they know the damage it causes them are they in control? If you spend more time talking about what you could do rather than doing it, chances are you are stuck in routine, chances are you CAN’T do it, otherwise you would have already done it by now.
When our daily habits become so ingrained, when we have grown so numb with complacency that we can not escape the situations that smother our freedom and passions ,we are no longer in control. We cannot control everything in life but, we can control our reactions, we can control how we prepare and plan, we can control our words and influence our thoughts, and we can even control our perception of the events that do occur in our lives. Our emotions often secretly run our lives, is your fear of the unexpected keeping you in the discomfort that you are currently in?
People who are in control of their lives still make mistakes, they still learn lessons, and they can still lose control at any moment; however, when you know that you are unhappy, and when deep down you want something more but you cant change it, you have lost control; you have moved beyond the realm of laziness and into the realm of addiction, your emotions and impulses are now so strong that even being aware of what is happening to you isn’t enough
The only way to overcome these times when we have lost control in our lives is to take swift, drastic, and overwhelming action every single day. The decisions that you will have to make to regain control of your life will not be easy, but they will be simple. You have to start exercising your control over the emotions that have been running your life. Your inner sorrow may have driven you to: gamble away your life savings, cheat on your spouse, or develop a new drinking habit, but it must stop now, it must start with you taking control and stop being the victim. You must say no to your feelings and act from your mind and heart.
What aspects of your life do you feel need improvement, what are your dreams, are you getting closer to your dreams or becoming better each day? The most important question you can ask yourself at the end of each day is this: “Did I live this day exactly as I desired?” if the answer is no too many days in a row chances are you have lost control. When your days are wasted away with immediate gratification and mindless self indulgence, you have lost control. Stop thinking you are in control and admit that you are a slave to your emotions; only after you identify the chains that bind you can you start to become free.
If you feel like a boat hopelessly adrift in the ocean then its time to take out your paddle and start making waves. Start moving towards something, stop waiting for life to happen to you, instead, make life happen for you. You can sit and wait for opportunity to come to you, but chances are even if opportunity comes your way, you won’t have the self control to take advantage of those opportunities; choose instead to take control, leave the things behind that make you unhappy and don’t seek comfort, instead seek improvement. If you will exercise the control that you do have over your life, you will be amazed with what you can make happen.