Tag Archives: control

It is about the Journey, not the Destination

There is a time and a place for everything in Life. When you really think about it, there is no real joy in rushing from milestone to milestone so fast, achieving all our heart’s desires quickly and immediately. Soon we may run out of meaningful experiences. We have to live Life at the pace that is right for us. When we are raring to go forward all the time we miss the scenery; we miss all the little things that also matter along the way, the experiences that will shape us into who we should be.

I am often impatient for things to move along and to achieve certain goals. I can’t wait for “life to begin”. And then sometimes, it hits me with the force of a cosmic speeding train. This is Life and I am already living it. And this precious precious time I have in my hands now is for me to make use of it and to enjoy! Because I will never get this portion of time back; once I have achieved my “goals”, then what? The next goal, right? There will always be that next thing you want in life.

I mean, it’s great to have goals in life, it gives us purpose and something to strive towards and yada yada… All that is good stuff. BUT. I forget to live in the here and now. I forget to enjoy the reality I have now. Because there are good things here already, much that I have already achieved, goals already ticked off; these things tend to be forgotten once achieved. I am living a life of “Strive, Tick, Done, Next”. Not good. I want to remind myself everyday to be grateful for what I do have now and not fret for the things that I don’t yet have.

All good things will fall into place with consistent effort and a positive attitude.

So while I strive and work towards my goals, each time there is a setback or difficulty, I promise to myself that I will stop and think of all that I have already achieved and all there is to enjoy right now. This especially comes in handy when certain things are not in our control. There will always be factors that we are unable to control. It just becomes painful when we refuse to accept that some things are simply not in our hands. We can only do what is within our ability to control.

Then there is the thief of all joy: Comparison. We constantly benchmark ourselves against our peers. It is an unusually cruel and painful practice we inflict upon ourselves, I think. Yet I do it all the time. Unconsciously it slips in and settles comfortably in the corners of my mind breeding resentment and discontent. And then I catch myself doing it and I kick the beast out! No way are you sitting there breeding ill-feelings inside my mind. Everybody’s life is different. To someone else looking in, I could be living the dream life. In fact, I have told myself repeatedly, it is a good life that I have, and I will appreciate it! I will not make comparisons and covet what others have. It is the ultimate enemy to happiness.

Life is in the living and not in regretting or fretting. Enjoy the journey, for it matters so much more than the Destination.

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It’s about the process, not the outcome

For over a year now I have been feeling vaguely out of control at the steering wheel of my life- no make that completely out of control. It seemed to me that I couldn’t get things done my way for so many aspects of life. I have been meeting with numerous failed attempts and roadblocks.

Then it struck me- nobody feels complete control over their lives, no one has that kind of control. We can take steps towards certain goals, try our best, but really how can we control the outcome. There are too many external factors affecting that outcome, we cannot possibly micro-manage them (unless we suddenly get promoted to Supreme Ruler of the Universe – not happening for me anytime soon I can tell you that).

We can however, control our reactions to the events that happen to us. I have heard that “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it”. So much of what happens to us is out of our control – getting or losing jobs, having children, illnesses, relationships etc… How we take the failure when it comes – that is the key. The first reaction is to be bitter or angry or upset. I mean, initially these feelings will be there and I think it’s ok to wallow a bit, but one must recover quickly; if not it is so easy to get lost in the negativity.

We should look towards what can be done next, what is the next step forward, what are the options and support systems available. In terms of attitude, which attitude will best help you to keep pursuing that goal? Definitely not anger, bitterness and dejectedness I am sure. Acceptance, hope, faith, perseverance, a never-say-die attitude these are some mindsets we can practice. I say practice, because for some reason it is not in human nature to naturally gravitate towards these emotions (we are gloomy creatures, we homosapeins). We need to constantly remind ourselves to keep up the positivity until it becomes a habit.

Sometimes we think we can indeed control certain aspects. Certainly how my marriage turns out or how my children grow up or getting that promotion at work are within my control, one may think. If you really think about it – not really. These things, while you can definitely do a lot to get yourself to that goal, a lot of it also depends on the decisions that other people take which you can’t control. In these cases, it is best to do whatever is in your power, then relinquish control for the outcome. It is the outcome that we can’t control, the process (what is in our hands), that we can control.

So my philosophy lately? Do what I can do for it – then let go of the desire to control the outcome. It is so difficult for a Type A control freak such as me. But I strive everyday.

Here are some articles I have come across dealing with uncertainty, that has helped me open my eyes and heart to accepting lack of control:
So not like a Boss
Holding tight the laces

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