It is wonderful when everything in life feels like it is under control. I love it when I have the ‘remote control for my life’ in hand and everything I point it to responds as it should; and works for me. Yes!
However, as much as we don’t like it, there are things that are beyond our control. Like modern King Canute’s trying to hold back the tides, some people invest enormous energy to maintain an illusion of control over their world. Someone has described such people like ants on a log being swept down a swollen river. The ants are all rushing around frantically, each one believing that its efforts alone are steering the log.
Now, while I am not that fatalistic about life, there are some things that are beyond our control such as the weather, traffic flow, the economic climate, some accidents, other people’s attitudes, etc. To even try to control such things is to set ourselves up for frustration and anxiety disorders.
Where is the balance between Control and Contentment?
As human beings some order is important for our sense of security and control. Chaos is a breeding ground for insecurity. Many of the things that cause distress for people are self-inflicted and totally preventable. With a little personal organisation and self-discipline many people could live with a lot more control over their lives. Learning more wisdom about how to handle relationships, speech, temper, money, diet, emotions, and planning a daily routine, would also increase control for many.
I have observed that even when life does throw a curve ball that is totally unexpected and beyond our control there is an attitude that appears to make things work best. This is the attitude that refuses to be a victim, does not look for someone to blame, and is willing to take responsibility for all aspects of life. This attitude better enables us to make amends, put things right and to overcome difficulty. It is the attitude that enables resilience and the restoration of control and contentment.
I am convinced that healthy self-leadership makes it possible to live life with a good measure of control over many aspects of our lives. And, if we can choose to have the attitude that is willing to take responsibility no matter what happens, it is amazing how resilient and contented we can be even when things swing out of control from time to time.