I’m a simple man, contrary to popular belief. Like most, I enjoy a guilty pleasure or two. For example, I love a good Adderall and coffee buzz first thing in the morning. It helps to clear the haze left behind from too much red wine the night before. I’m fond of perfume that smells like the beach, though I can’t remember the last time I wanted to visit one. I prefer fall to summer, and I like my cereal dry, no milk works just fine for me.
With that in mind, here is what it has taken me 33 years to finally understand: You cannot control anything in life, except how you react in a situation and what you do next.
“Want to make God laugh? Tell him your plan.” – Woody Allen
I love that quote, because it’s the truth. Do you want to know what freedom feels like? Let go of the wheel you’re gripping so tightly. I’m not saying sleep in until , crack a bottle and get lost in daytime television because life has no meaning. What I’m saying is know where you want to go in life, but don’t be locked on how you are going to get there.
Opportunity is sneaky and usually shows up in the very moment we are fighting so hard to control. This could be a painful break-up, a job loss, or a moment you would rather soon forget. Again, the only thing in life you have control over is your emotions, and how you will react in any given situation.
Look around you. Look at the people in your life who attempt to control everything around them. They’re stressed, constantly out of control in an attempt to get control, and generally on edge. Micro-managers are the worst.
This brings me to the hardest part of letting go of control.
You have to allow people to make their own decisions, and in turn, their own mistakes. How else are they going to learn?
When you see your friend go back and for with an on-again-off-again relationship, you can give them your own two cents, but don’t expect it to change anything. Until they wake up to their own truth, your words are just background noise.
It’s not your job to judge or ridicule them when it’s and they call you drunk, alone and heart-broken. Your job is to listen and be there so they don’t feel more alone than they already do. That’s it.
I’m not a religious man, but I certainly believe in energy and expectations created through our beliefs. Meaning, you will get what you focus on, good or bad. If you’re afraid of being alone and try to control your partner so they won’t cheat on you or leave you, chances are your energy will drive them to do just that, therefore forcing you to live the very fear you so didn’t want to live. Every race car driver has thought about this one important lesson: When there’s an accident on the road ahead, you only have a second to decide where to go to avoid it. Never look at the wall, because that’s where you’ll end up.