February 22, 2023
min read

The Only 3 Things You Have Control Over

Do you ever feel completely out of control? Like the things you want to achieve, the people you want in your life, and the person you want to be just seem to be slipping away from you?

You may be thinking something like:

There’s a job I want and I’ve applied but now it’s just completely out of my control whether I get it or not”…and it’s killing you to wait.

Or maybe, “I really want my significant other to do this for me but they just never seem to get it…

Or even, “There’s so much I want to do & accomplish but it’s too overwhelming and I don’t know where to start.

And in those moments, first of all just breathe — it’s gonna be okay.

Second, we often waste out time, energy & emotional strength fixated on things we’re convinced we can control like what others think, the outcome of a business deal, or the success of a project.

And we’re not wrong… in some way.

We DO have control over certain aspects of those things. We can control how we act and what we say around others. We can put in the effort to make the business deal or project more likely to pull through.

But there’s also a lot we can’t control — even if we get everything else perfect. We can’t control the biases that others may have about us, or the other players involved in a business deal. We can’t control how much effort others put into a project or whether someone higher up will pull the plug on it.

We never have complete control over any outcome or situation but we never have a complete lack of control either.

Because at the end of the day, we have control over ourselves. The control we have in any situation can be boiled down to three things:


How hard you work and your willingness to learn

We always get to control how much effort you’re willing to put into something. We can always choose to keep an open mind and learn as much as we can from everyone & everything we can get your hands on. No one can ever take that away from us.

Even if we don’t get the results you were looking for, we can’t go wrong when we give it our all and learn as much as we can. That’s how opportunities are created — by giving it out all even when we may not get the results.


The strength & courage you exemplify when everything goes to shit

Shit happens. We fail at things we thought we could do no problem. Breakups happen. And sometimes, at those moments when everything seems to be falling apart, we may even forget how to see the road ahead and everything turns foggy.

Our instinct when everything turns to shit is to bury our heads in the sand and wait for it to pass. But those moments when we can’t see beyond tomorrow because there’s just too much fog up ahead — that’s precisely when we have to choose to keep moving forward.

The fog will never pass on its own, we’ve got to go through it with everything we’ve got. We’ll never have control over the fog, but we have control over whether we let it blind us, or we pass through it.


How hard you love and care for the things worth loving & caring for

Human beings are made to connect. It’s just built into who we are. But dealing with other people is one of the hardest things to ever do. They can hurt us, let us down, make us angry or annoy the hell out of us. Then again, they can also love us, make us feel accepted and inspire us to go further than we thought possible.

People are messy. Relationships are complicated. We can never have control over what others think, do, or say. But we can choose those worth loving and caring for and do that with all our heart.

The same goes for any cause or project worth dedicating yourself to. You don’t have control over the outcome but you do have control over how much love and care you put into the work you do.

That’s it. Everything you really have control over can be distilled into those three categories. And everything else? Just let it go. Because everything you really need, and everything that’s really important — you can control.

You don’t have control over whether the interviewer chooses you for the job. But you sure as hell can learn as much as you can about the job, make yourself stand out, and fight for it which will open up opportunities for the future.

You don’t have control over what your significant other does, or even what they think about you. But you can share how you feel, what you want, and love them the best you can regardless.

You can’t put together your ideal future with the push of a button. But you can work hard every single day to find your purpose, work even harder to go in the right direction, and choose to keep going when things get tough.

So when things seem to be spiralling out of control, take a breathe and focus on what you do have control over. Then do a hell of a good job making the most out of it.


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