Stress and anxiety come from the feeling of a lack of control, so it is commonly believed that the more we control, the less stress we’ll have and the happier we’ll feel. We try to take control over as many things as possible in order to make ourselves feel comfortable.
When things don’t go our way, we think to ourselves “I have to do *something*.” We go chasing after comfort in other things and other people, instead of finding comfort within ourselves.
The reality is, the more you try to control, the more you have to worry about, and the more “out of control” you’ll actually feel.
You must focus on the things that you can control and let go of the things you can’t if you want to achieve true happiness. In other words, for most things in life, you don’t have to do anything. You can embrace your laziness and “let it be,” finding comfort in your own bed (or your own skin, as people say).
A “perfect life”, as many believe, is having all the right tools under your belt. It’s being able to control the outcome of all the events that happen to you and make decisions about the direction of every single aspect of your life -- your relationships, your goals, your career.
Contrary to that popular belief, a perfect life doesn’t actually exist.
No one has a perfect life. Not celebrities, not the people you look up to. Nobody.
We all have things that bring us struggle in which we do not directly control. We all make mistakes. We all have imperfections.
Even if you make millions, even if you gain fame, even if you meet the girl or guy of your dreams, there are going to be some things you just can’t control. That’s life. There is gonna be external stress factors that hit you unexpectedly no matter who you are or what you achieved.
The goal is not to make your life perfect, but to make it simple. The more you try to have, the more you try to control, the more complex your life becomes.
Complexity does nothing but make life more difficult and stressful. Eliminate difficulty and stress by eliminating the things you try to control, the things you choose to worry about. Just take it easy, man.
Worrying is the act of trying to control something outside of your control. You can’t actually do anything about it, but you sit there ruminating about how you want it to change, or if you can do something about it, you instead focus on the things you can’t do about it, rather than what you can.
The way to “take control of your life” is to go ahead and take control of the things that you actually have control over, rather than trying to fix or worrying about the things that are completely outside your control. Don't worry.
For the most part though, taking control is more of a matter of letting go than “taking” anything. You have to let go in order to take control.
You can't control life.
You can only control your response to it.
You can't control if your boyfriend or girlfriend is in a shitty mood.
You can control whether or not you start a fight.
You can't control getting stuck in traffic.
You can control whether or not you slam on your horn.
You can't control if your boss yells at you for something minuscule.
You can control whether or not you yell back.
You can't control if your dog shits on the floor.
You can control whether or not you throw a fit.
You can't control if the media hypes up a virus outbreak.
You can control whether or not you panic.
Life is full of chaos.
But don't be an agent of chaos.
Don't let the chaotic outer world create inner turmoil. Don’t let anything or anyone shake you out of bed. Remain in your own mental state of peace and comfort. That’s what you have control over. That’s how you “take control of your life.” That’s how you make your life as perfect as can be, or at the very least, enjoyable.
You can only control your own inner world. That’s it. It’s that simple. Don’t try to control all the outer complexities. If things go the way you want, cool. If not, whatever. That’s the attitude you need to have. You’re fine either way. You remain unfazed in your total lazy “don’t give a fuck” attitude.
Let go of all the things you can’t change. The only thing you can change is your own mind, so there’s a lot you need to let go and that’s okay.
You choose to allow either constructive or destructive thoughts and feelings inside. You choose to allow these thoughts and feelings make you react irrationally or you can recognize them for what they are and respond in a calm and deliberate way.
You decide how to manifest and bring to life these thoughts and feelings. You make the decision to react a certain way and put those thoughts and feelings from the inner world into actions and behaviors to the outer world.
The things that happen may not make you feel good inside, but that doesn't mean you need to react in a negative way.
Feeling bad doesn't mean you should do a bad thing. You control what to do with your feelings about a situation. You may not be able to control what happened in the first place. You may not even be able to control how you feel about it. But you can control what you do about it.
Recognize your feelings. Respond to them in an honest way, but remain calm.
Don't react. Don't jump up out of instinct. Lie down.
Relax. Keep your poise. Stay lazy.
Respond slowly but surely. Respond confidently.
Create inner peace, despite the outer war.
Let go of the fact that you can’t change a person’s mood. Let go of the fact that you can’t convince someone to change their mind.
You can set boundaries. You can make your expectations and goals clear. But you can’t force them to happen. Let it go. Let it all go.
The more you hold on, the more you hurt yourself.
The more you let go, the more control you have. People will respect your influence but rebel against your authority. In other words, if you remain calm yet firm in saying what you want but don’t demand it, and let it go if you don’t get it, people will be more likely to follow your lead and give you what you want anyway.
Go with the flow instead of trying to force waves to move in the direction you want. You can captain a ship to sail where you want, but you can’t move the ocean to get you there.
Be a diplomat to your own emotions. Sign a treaty with yourself to not react and cause further destruction and chaos to others and the environment.
When you react, when you give into negative emotions easily, you cause damage to the outer world, and ultimately damage yourself in the process.
You lose friends. You end relationships. You get fired. You cause accidents.
All because you could not control the one actual thing you do have control over.