We are constantly bombarded with messages, such as, “Take control of your career,” “Be in control of your health,” “Take charge of your life,” and “Take control before it is too late.” But, what if controlling all of the aspects of your life is what is really holding you back?
Consider a hypothetical person who is “perfect” by society’s standards . . . The person eats healthy with most of their meals coming from fresh foods. This person is naturally slender and athletic, exercising several days per week despite working long hours to advance their career, care for their home, and maintain relationships with friends, family, and co-workers. They are also active in the community and are considered completely in control of their life.
Most people would view this person as having everything under control and living a charmed life. The question is, “What are they missing out on?”
Everything in their life is prescribed. It is defined to the point that there is no room for growth or unplanned opportunities. For instance, they may become so in control of their career that they can’t see that there are better opportunities for them. This could mean that they are so busy going after being CEO of JoeTech Inc., that they miss out on a job as CEO of another company or that they would be much more fulfilled having their own small start up company with less pay, but far more flexibility. This “perfect” person is so busy being who they believe they are supposed to be that they don’t have time to explore who they really are.
Although we may not be perfect, most of us get caught up in the “control trap.” We get busy controlling the details of our life instead of just letting life unfold. This doesn’t mean that goals or hard work are bad. What it means is that it is worthwhile to consider the goals from a higher, less detailed perspective.
To go back to the job scenario, consider the difference between the following goals: “I want to be CEO of JoeTech Inc. by the time I am 40” and “I want a fulfilling job that provides financial stability.” These are two very different goals. The first has one and only one option for success. The latter, has infinite options for success.
So, the next time you are busy controlling some aspect of your life, consider the limitations of that approach. Sit back and ask yourself if you can give up some amount of control in order to open up the possibilities. When you free yourself from control, you open your self up to possibilities. Where there are possibilities, there is freedom!