Back in my early teen years, I was a total control freak. I felt that the only way I could get ahead, and get the results I wanted, was to control every aspect of my life.
It was the dire opposite of what I was learning in my yoga and meditation practice and definitely not aligned with all the spiritual books my father was strongly encouraging me to read.
Yet somehow, I had gotten it in my head that to be successful at anything, including yoga and meditation, I needed to control everything.
It made for a very stressful life and left very little wiggle room for the Universe to work its magic.
Luckily (I say luckily now, although I didn’t think I was so lucky at the time!), through hardship and challenges, the Universe showed me that the control I thought I had was a complete illusion.
That in fact, I controlled very little.
Except one thing.
I could always control one thing.
And that thing, that one thing, was how I perceived what was happening to me and how I responded to it.
But actually, that’s all that really matters.
In his book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari (one of my top 5 books. Read why HERE) Robin Sharma explains to us that reality actually doesn’t exist.
That there are no absolutes. That “an event that appears to be a tragedy to one might reveal the seeds of unlimited opportunity to another.”
The only thing that is real is how we react and process what is happening to us in the present moment.
Granted, that is not an easy lesson to learn. And an even harder one to implement.
But if you do, it will change your life. I promise.
Knowing you have very little control over anything in your life allows you to let go of what is actually preventing you from moving forward, reaching your goals and embracing your true potential.
On the positive side, it allows you to develop greater control over what truly has an impact on your life: your reaction and processing of the events that are happening to you.
And that’s the type of control freak you want to be: the good kind of control freak.
So how do you become a good control freak?
The key is to start small.
Start paying attention at your reactions, as they are happening. Don’t allow your mind to wander off, unguarded, and tangle you in negative thoughts.
Here’s an example:
It’s a rainy Saturday morning and you need to run some errands.
You get to the shopping mall and start driving around in circles, looking for that perfect parking spot, close to the entrance.
From the corner of your eye, you see a car slowly backing out of that coveted spot. You race over, put your flasher on and wait. As the car finally backs out of your spot, another car from the other side, slips right in.
At that very moment, you have two options:
1.Start fuming with anger. Yell profanities at the other driver for “stealing” your spot while explaining you were there “first” (so you thought), and allow that incident to get you in a horrible mood for the remainder of the morning (if not the remainder of the day as you share the incident with your partner, friends and maybe even on your Facebook and Instagram followers, giving even more momentum and power to the incident).
2. You laugh at the irony of you waiting there for absolutely no reason. Realize it’s simply a parking spot. That maybe the other car couldn’t see you signalling as the third car was backing out of the parking spot. That you actually could use a little more exercise by parking further and that in fact you have a beautiful umbrella in the trunk of your car that you rarely ever use. So you smile at to the driver that got the spot and go on your merry way, laughing at the ridicule of the situation and setting yourself up for a beautiful and cheerful day. And maybe you share how you handled the situation with your Facebook and Instagram followers, giving momentum and power to your positive attitude.
See the difference?
The first option will have you all rattled up and angry, which will lead to absolutely nothing good. And the second option has you smiling at life and setting you up for positive experiences.
Same event, two completely different ways to approach it.
That being said, don’t interpret this example as me telling you to be a door mat and allow people to walk all over you.
If you feel you’ve been wronged in a situation, it is your right and obligation to speak up. But do so in a way that is polite, courteous, diplomatic and compassionate. Control your emotions within the conflict. Don’t allow a negative emotion to dictate how you will handle the situation.
In other words, train your mind to look for the positive first, before allowing yourself any negative thought.
Be a control freak of the thoughts you think.
As you begin to train your mind to see the positive in the small events of your life, the control you exert over your mind will grow to allow you to handle the more challenging events.
Remember, absolute reality does not exist, only your reaction and your processing of the events are real.
So think about how you want your reality to unfold: positive and happy or negative and angry.
The choice is entirely yours.
And it is one of the very few choices you entirely own, SO OWN IT FULLY!
As always, I love hearing from you. After reading this post, leave me a comment below or send me an email and let me know, with concrete examples, how you think you can become a good control freak.
If you want to fast track your way to becoming a good control freak, check out The Ignition Toolbox HERE.