We cannot control every aspect of our lives and we shouldn’t even attempt to. In fact, most of the misery people feel in life comes from attempting to control the uncontrollable. We can’t control the economy or the weather. And we most definitely cannot control others.
All we can control is ourselves – our character, our outlook, our actions and contributions.
Everything else, for the most part, is largely uncontrollable.
But still, we try. Why?
It is an instinctual desire to have a larger sense of control over our inner and outer worlds. We want control over our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. We want to control our outcomes and the relationships we have in the outside world. But we mustn’t stray to far.
Control is a double-edged sword
If we have too much control, we can become rigid and inflexible. We start expecting things to turn out exactly as planned and lose our ability to adapt when things go awry.
On the opposite end, if we have no control in our lives, we can feel like we’re in a tailspin. No control means little choice over our wills, paths and life purposes. We are left to the whims of luck and chance.
We can’t tell you how much control is sufficient. It varies from person to person. Our levels of control might be someone else’s definition of too much or too little. We all need different levels at different points in our lives.
Although, through our many experiences, we have figured out one thing we can control, without wandering too far in either direction.
Control our inner world
Sometimes the bus arrives early and we miss it by a few moments. Or someone close to you hurts you. Or it could be as trivial as your roommate drinking all the milk.
Regardless of the problem, most of what happens to us is completely out of our control. However, our ultimate response – how we react – is directly under our control.
How we perceive each situation determines how we feel. But, a positive outlook is tougher than we might expect. Our perceptions are informed by a compilation of what we consume on a daily basis.
Almost everything we see or read is some form of negativity or chaos. The average person watches four hours of television and then spends another few hours browsing the Internet.
Between the television and the Internet, we can’t escape the clutches of negativity.
If we want to control our inner world – our thoughts, feelings and actions – we have to consider the information we consume.
Perhaps we should use the extra ‘TV time’ purposefully consuming positive and empowering information. Or meet with friends that will lift us up. Or work through and tackle new challenges that remind us how strong we really are.
We have to safeguard our outlook to control our interpretations of the world around us. We have to seek optimism with urgency.
Being an optimist means that we are able to find the glimmer of good in every person, situation, and problem. We able to be hopeful when things go awry. We are able to adapt when things don’t proceed as planned.
Optimism, like pessimism, is a choice completely under our control. Given the choice, which should we choose – a life of positive experiences or negative expectations?
Which way shall we steer our lives today and every day?
What will we stand for today? Will we allow petty situations to overwhelm us? What kind of positive values and beliefs shall we release to the world every day?
When we align our positive outlook with diligent intention, we can begin to take control of our internal worlds and feel happier and more fulfilled.
We can face the worlds’ challenges head-on and become an unshakeable fortress.
So today, when everyone is trying to control the bus schedule or trying to stop their roommates from drinking all the milk, spend your time purposely with the intent of controlling your unshakeable optimistic outlook.
As always, our beautiful readers,
Be bold, be free, and love on.