What does it mean when someone says to take control of your life?
It means that you are aware of who you are and you chase after the things that make you happy. You’re surrounded by people who love and encourage you because you chose to hang around them. It also means that you are aware of things around you; you adapt when needed and you grasp opportunities. Finally, you understand that you have to work hard to get to where you want to be, so that’s what you do.
Sounds perfect, right?
It’s what we all imagine. We see ourselves in 10 years living in grand homes, surrounded by our best friends, and we are so hard-working that others envy our ability to keep going.
But, is it really that perfect? Is life always in your favor when you’re in control of your life?
No to both of those questions. Yes, taking control of your life means all those things I mentioned, but it’s definitely not as easy I made it out to sound.
On social media, you see all these rich entrepreneurs and YouTubers who look like they have control of their lives and they probably do. But, it’s not as perfect as it seems. They struggle, they hurt, they cry, but the difference between people who have control of their lives and those who think they do?
They know that it’s not just “I go after my dreams and I try to stay positive.”
Which leads to the question What does it really mean to be in control of your life?
1. YOU KNOW WHEN TO GIVE UP CONTROL
When you’re in control of your life, you want to do just that–control. Everything. When things don’t go your way, the way you had planned down to the dot, you’re likely to get pissed off.
Which is why you need to pay attention to the things you can’t control. What are some things that you get angry at that you can do nothing about? The weather, other people’s attitudes, traffic?
When the things that you can’t control get in the way, your job is simply to accept the fact that that’s how it is and let it go. If you’re stuck in traffic, don’t curse and yell, put on a podcast instead.
Realize when you have to let go of control.
You can do so by putting your trust in a higher power (God, the Universe, Fate). For example, let’s say that you have a YouTube channel and you want to get to 1,000 subscribers. You write down your goal and put in on your bathroom mirror where you look every morning, and you do what you need to do in order to attain that goal.
However, somewhere in between that work, you’re going to start breaking down that goal into smaller pieces. You’ll say “okay, by the end of this month I’ll have 100 subscribers, and next month I’ll have 200, and so on.”
All of a sudden, you’re trying to control too much. There’s nothing wrong with breaking down a big goal into smaller achievable ones, but with this, you can’t control a number of subscribers you get over the month.
There are things that will help you get to those goals, but what’ll happen when you don’t reach those 100 subscribers the first month? You’ll feel disappointed, but you’ll try again. But next month, you fail again and your faith drops a bit.
Next thing you know you’re on your knees crying and yelling at God because he’s not giving you what you want. Now, you’re disappointed and losing faith in what you believe in, too.
All because you wanted to have all the control and break down that big goal too much. You should’ve just left your goal at “I have 1,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel.”
Think about this, too. What if your goal was to gain 100 subscribers every month to get 1,000? That means it would take you 10 months to get those subscribers. What if God’s plan for you was to get those 1k subscribers in 5 months time?
But, because you tried to control something that was outside of your environment because you didn’t trust God, you sent out those signals and you didn’t end up getting those subscribers.
(To clarify, goals are not reached just through wishing, and luck, and energy. You have to actually take action. I’m just saying that you need to trust that you’ll reach it too).
2. YOU HAVE MOMENTS WHERE YOU WANT TO QUIT
People who are in control of their lives do not have easy lives where nothing bad ever happens to them. They have times where they think why the hell did I do this and they want to give up. But what makes them stand out? One thing that defines them is that they even though they feel that way, they keep going anyway.
Even though things get really hard, they are willing to step out of their confront zone and overcome their obstacles. They don’t quit because things are too hard no matter how bad they want to.
They do that because they accepted that fact before they began. They knew beforehand that they wouldn’t be able to control the obstacles that they’d encounter. They just knew that they would have to get over them, learn from them, and move on.
3. YOU UNDERSTAND THAT THINGS TAKE TIME
Things will take time to be accomplished. Sometimes you don’t know how long it will be before you get those 1,000 subscribers or before you finally end up in New York City.
But one thing to remember is that slowly, but surely things are happening. You may not be able to see it because it’s so freaking small, but there are things going on all around you.
You have to remain patient! You can’t expect to have 500 followers after a week on Instagram just because you were consistently posting after 7 days. 7 days isn’t that much, dude!
People who are in control of their lives are aware that they’ve just got to wait. They know that you can’t control time and they just have to go about truly believing that eventually what they want to see will be right in front of their eyes as if it magically appeared.
4. YOU DON’T OBSESS
This whole article is about not obsessing. You shouldn’t obsess over the things you can’t control and frankly, not even over the things you can. Don’t obsess over the obstacles you just need to jump over, and don’t obsess over how long things are taking.
You just need to trust that in the end, things will turn out the way you wanted them to. Obsessing over things you can’t control is pointless and will only lead to you getting angry for no reason and unnecessary disappointment.
Trusting the Universe is hard, but I’d rather trust than be angry all the time. Wouldn’t you?