Everyone these days seems to be obsessed with gaining, maintaining or regaining control over something. At work, we focus on controlling outcomes. At home, we try to maintain control of our finances and our children. We fight for control of everything from our weight to the TV remote. All day... every day... our entire lives... we are killing ourselves to be in control... and beating ourselves up for not. .
I can't tell you how many times I thought I had some sort of control over a work project or personal situation, only to have everything go out of control in spite of my best efforts. I drove myself the edge trying to find that magic formula to balancing my life while still excelling at everything.
The people on TV do it. I should be able to do it.
The truth is that we have very little control over anything. We are simply learning to live within the ebb and flow of life in a manageable way. We make plans within the known circumstances, and then guide our actions toward them. Most times, we are perpetually course correcting along the way. What we're really doing is learning how life works, then working within that construct. Does that sound like control?
Someone out there is thinking, "Oh yeah... you have no idea what you are saying. I maintain perfect control over everything in my life." Well... I tend to believe that you're just operating in an environment where your actions create a specific result. You've learned how to behave within that construct to get the result. It's conditioning... like rats who learn to navigate a maze for the treat at the end. So... who really has the control, here?
We are programmed that we should be able to control our personal space, our minds and drives - perfectly, without exception. We should be able to control our diet habits better. Or, we should be able to motivate ourselves to exercise regularly, achieve promotions, earn degrees, and so on. But, I surmise, that we do not achieve anything until we learn to give up control. We must learn that we are not above or below any outcome - and that the only thing we can bring to any situation is ourselves.
My life was miserable for a long time because I thought I could control things. I worked night and day to control my little corner of the world at home. I was expending great amounts of energy trying juggle everything in my life. I thought I had the secret... I thought I had control.
Meanwhile I was actually spinning out of control. With every personal commitment I made to myself to find that elusive control... I discovered something that was uncontrollable. I could learn what worked and what didn't - model my behavior off of previous successes, and get a grip on my life.
The day I found more peace was the day I learned to let GO of control. Once I understood that control is an illusion and the best I could hope for is to behave in a way that moves me in the direction of my goals... I actually started moving toward my goals.
Go figure... the only control we need to find is to NOT work for control. Instead, work toward understanding of what actions take you where you want to go, and behave accordingly. Work toward what you want... but do not try to control it. You will only drive yourself nuts.
So, it's time to reboot. Control + Alt + Delete is exactly how we do it. Remove expectations of control, watch what works best and see what works for you. That's the most control you'll experience in your life!
In my life, I'm never really in control. I simply remind myself that all I need to do is to behave according to the outcome I want, and things will fall into place.