The word “control” invokes a lot of images. Some see it as something that will never have. Others see it as something people constantly try to exercise over those they have no right to. Then, there are those who strive to achieve control. Some of these people see control as something you have to achieve over others in order to have it yourself. Others see it as something you can have over yourself without being that concerned with the lives or actions of others.
Either way you look at it, the concept of “control” is embedded in your life. Let’s face it, in some way or on some level, everyone desires to have control. The most common complaint that is heard is that many feel they do not have enough control over their own lives. They see themselves as being pulled by various outside parties, be it their employer, their significant others, their families, their friends, society, the government, or even fate (for those who believe in it). What has yet to click in the minds of these people is that they actually do have control, they just haven’t acknowledged it yet in order to exercise it.
Let’s take the case of the person who feels their work governs their lives. The first thing they have to ask themselves is how much value do they place on their work and why they took it up to begin with. If they live to work, if that is how they define themselves, then it would make sense that most of their life is governed around their job. In other words, they put themselves in that position. They may have done it unwittingly, but the point is that they were the ones who did it. Incidentally, if that mindset put them in their current position, they can certainly change it. However, to do that requires one to be able to ask a question that seems to be extremely difficult for most people to answer. They have to ask, “What do I want to do instead”?
This is probably one of the biggest reasons people do not have control over their own lives. Just about anyone can tell you what they do NOT want, but you would be surprised how many people have no idea what it is that they DO want. Sure, one can answer in generalities, such as financial independence or a stable relationship, but everyone has a different idea of what those things are. One has to ask what defines happiness for them, and it may well be answer they are going to take some time to find. Beware if you think you can answer the question immediately; chances are you really haven’t thought it through and will be most surprised to find that the answer fails to give you what you want (should you achieve it).
The very basis of control begins with the self. You have to understand yourself completely. You have to know what motivates you, what inspires you to keep going against all odds, what detracts you from your goals or intents, and most importantly, what you need to change about yourself in order to accomplish what you desire. When one understand themselves completely, has no question in their mind as to where they are going and why they are heading there, it is virtually impossible to stop them. There is no stopping them because there is no doubt or question to cause them to challenge their own actions, or to give them reason to believe they cannot (or should not) be doing what they intend.
The basis of control starts with a solid foundation within the person who wishes to achieve it. The person who has control knows who they are and what they want or need. With this mindset in place, there is no obstacle or deterrence that will keep them from accomplishing what they set out to do. Family will not stand in their way, peers or employers will not influence them, relationships will not dissuade them, and any unexpected problems that occur along the way will only strengthen their resolve.
The ability to obtain control starts with you. Every decision, every action, even every thought you have leads to where you end up. The part of control most people have yet to learn to grasp is the concept of self-responsibility. Once you have accepted it to its fullest extent, you will understand just how much control you will have in your own life. Once you have mastered your own life, you may well master the world.
In the first level of our training, you will be challenged to assess yourself completely and honestly. You will learn to analyze your character, what experiences have lead you up to who you are now, what your current perceptions do to help or hinder you in your progress, how your thought processes work and what you can do to improve them. Most importantly, you will be learning where there are glitches in your perceptions and how to change them. This is exceedingly difficult for most people. There is a reason that the saying “better the devil you know” exists. No matter how destructive or hindering a perception or behavior pattern may be to someone, the fear of change will override the need to do so almost every time. This is particularly true on the subconscious level. That is why you have to be completely conscious of everything you do and why you are doing it. It is very challenging, and at times very taxing on one’s nerves, to constantly ask themselves why they just did something or why they thought or felt the way they did about an occurrence. This is a grueling process that is very difficult to get started. For one thing, you would be amazed at how many times you do things without really thinking about them. The second problem is when you honesty do question yourself, you will often find that you do not like the answers you get. However, much like anything else, once you begin to do it, it eventually becomes second nature. Soon it becomes a part of your life, a part of your very being, and you will find yourself evolving on a much faster rate than those around you.
Take the time over the next few weeks to ask yourself the following questions:
- How much control do I really have over my life?
- How many times in the past did I give up control without realizing it?
- How much self-responsibility do I claim for my actions? (Or how many times have I blamed outside causes for what I actually did myself?)
- How do my feelings / beliefs / experiences cause me to question my ability to control my life?
- What do I need to change about myself in order to achieve self-control?
- What would I be willing to do to obtain complete self-control?
None of these questions are ones that can be answered in a single day. The answers are more complex than you can imagine. Take the time to answer them a little every day. In the end, you will be surprised how long and detailed the answers will get – and what other questions they end up answering.