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You’re in control — Universal Principles

Principle — You’re in control

Control – to have power over.

One of the most important things in life to realize is that while it may not always feel that way, you are in control of yourself. You may not decide what happens to you or others in the world, but you do get to decide how you react to it!


Take responsibility for your life

A nice piece on taking responsibility for your life, by Leo Babauta.

There will be some among you who will admit that it would be nice to slow down, but you just can’t do it … your job won’t allow it, or you’ll lose income if you don’t do as many projects, or living in the city makes it too difficult to go slowly. It’s a nice ideal if you’re living on a tropical island, or out in the country, or if you have a job that allows control of your schedule … but it’s not realistic for your life.

I say bullshit.

Take responsibility for your life. If your job forces you to rush, take control of it. Make changes in what you do, in how you work. Work with your boss to make changes if necessary. And if really necessary, you can eventually change jobs. You are responsible for your life.

If you live in a city where everyone rushes, realize that you don’t have to be like everyone else. You can be different. You can walk instead of driving in rush hour traffic. You can have fewer meetings. You can work on fewer but more important things. You can be on your iPhone or Blackberry less, and be disconnected sometimes. Your environment doesn’t control your life — you do.

11/365, by Jonathan D. Blundell

Who’s controlling your life?

February 17, 2010   Comments Off

You can be the next legend

Inspiring words from The Courage to Live Consciously by Steve Pavlina.

What is the difference between you and one of those legendary historical figures who did have such an impact? You both had many of the same fears. You both were born with talents in some areas and weaknesses in others. The only thing stopping you is fear, and the only thing that will get you past it is courage. What you do with your life isn’t up to your parents, your boss, or your spouse. It’s up to you and you alone.

Le Tango de le Muerte, by Trey Ratcliff

What will kids in school read about you in 100 years?

December 27, 2009   Comments Off

Overemphasizing personal security

Steve Pavlina, in his great article The Courage to Live Consciously, talks about why focusing too much on security might hinder your personal development.

Day 22.10 from heaven, by FreriekeA side effect of overemphasizing the importance of personal security in your life is that it can cause you to live reactively. Instead of setting your own goals, making plans to achieve them, and going after them with gusto, you play it safe. Keep working at the stable job, even though it doesn’t fulfill you. Remain in the unsatisfying relationship, even though you feel dead inside compared to the passion you once had. Who are you to think that you can buck the system? Accept your lot in life, and make the best of it. Go with the flow, and don’t rock the boat. Your only hope is that the currents of life will pull you in a favorable direction.

Don’t forget: you are in control of your life!

But a side effect of overemphasizing the importance of personal security in your life is that it can cause you to live reactively. Instead of setting your own goals, making plans to achieve them, and going after them with gusto, you play it safe. Keep working at the stable job, even though it doesn’t fulfill you. Remain in the unsatisfying relationship, even though you feel dead inside compared to the passion you once had. Who are you to think that you can buck the system? Accept your lot in life, and make the best of it. Go with the flow, and don’t rock the boat. Your only hope is that the currents of life will pull you in a favorable direction.

December 25, 2009   2 Comments

Know where you are going

A quote, taken from the course Personal Leadership, given by LMI Sweden. (FTBM)

Your surroundings respect he who knows where he is going, but doesn’t care much about the one who’s decisions are made by others.

Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going, by Joaquim Brissaud

December 23, 2009   Comments Off

“I choose to”

In 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey suggests that our language and choice of words are important for our level of proactivity, or consciousness.

El Capitan, by Wes Browning

Here follows a couple of examples of reactive language, followed by a more appropriate proactive way to say the same thing.

  • There’s nothing I can do. – Let’s look at our alternatives.
  • That’s just the way I am. – I can choose a different approach.
  • He makes me so mad. – I control my own feelings.
  • They won’t allow that. – I can create an effective presentation.
  • I have to do that. – I will choose an appropriate response.
  • I can’t. – I choose.
  • I must. – I prefer.
  • If only. – I will.

So, next time you find yourself saying “I have to clean my apartment,” stop behaving like a victim and say “I choose to clean my apartment (because while I may not enjoy cleaning, I prefer it to having a messy apartment).”

December 22, 2009   Comments Off

The mahout and the elephant

Nisse Simonson, author of the Swedish book Varför mår vi så dåligt när vi har det så bra? provides a metaphor to help us control our sometimes rather unruly brain. (Freely translated by me.)

We may resemble how our brain works with a mahout – an elephant driver – riding on an elephant. The elephant is the unconscious part of the brain. The little mahout is the conscious part. The conscious part of us believe that it is in control, like the mahout thinks. But the elephant has its own will and follows the mahout’s governing only as long as it does not go against the elephant’s own will. If the elephant gets the feeling that a tiger is lurking behind the bend, the mahout will not be able to persuade it to move forward. And no one should believe that it is easy to tame an elephant. It requires many years of perseverance and wisdom. The mahout controls the elephant and the elephant controls the mahout. But in concert and cooperation, they can get a lot done together.

Mahout…and.. Elephant, by Ragesh Vasudevan

December 21, 2009   2 Comments