I see many people fighting with their friends and family for the TV remote control. They get a feeling of accomplishment when they win the fight and take full control over the television. Wish people take their lives also so seriously and start taking control over every aspect of it!
Each and every one of us has immense power, but the minute we handover the remote control of our lives to others, knowingly or unknowingly, we start losing the power that we have.
Once we lose our power, our life goes out-of-control and then we start blaming our spouse, boss, parents, relatives, neighbors, politicians, country etc., for all the problems we face. Once we pass on the buck to others, we become weaker and give away all the power that we inherently possessed. This leads to more chaos in our lives and then it becomes a vicious circle.
Let us look at three scenarios in our daily lives where we must practice taking control:
Scenario #1: These are situations that are directly related to your life and you have the ability to make the decisions on your own. For example, which course to pursue in college, which company to work for, whom to marry, to marry or stay single, where to live, what to cook for dinner, which dress to wear, to watch TV or go to the gym, to have one more serving of dessert or not…the list goes on.
For each of these situations, you’ll get bombarded with advice from people around you on what’s best for you. By all means, you should take the advice from people who have been there and done that. But do it with a pinch of salt, because they are not you. Their life and what they want from their life is different from your life and what you want from it. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons and make a conscious decision in every scenario that you are involved it.
As a by product, you get to enjoy incredible freedom and power. But remember, as Spiderman says, “With power comes great responsibility.” If you have the courage to make your own decisions, you also need to take 100% responsibility for the consequences of your decision.
For example, if you decide to take up a course in journalism after convincing your father that engineering is not meant for you, you must also take up the ownership if you don’t get a suitable job after passing out. You must be willing to do everything you can to follow your passion and make your career work.
Scenario #2: You are in a situation where a group of people should work together to help you achieve what you want. Even if one person doesn’t do his/her job properly, the end result will get affected. For example, you have planned a weekend trip with your family. It is not enough if you get ready on time and leave for the trip. Your spouse may fall sick suddenly. Your boss may call you and give a last minute project. The taxi driver might arrive late. The hotel staff may have forgotten to take your booking. There could be plenty of things that could spoil your trip, which are outside your control.
In such cases, you must always plan for the worst-case scenario and be ready with alternate solutions. Most people do their job perfectly (according to them) and expect the same from the others. Even if the plan gets deviated slightly because of someone else they lose their temper, become anxious, start worrying and lose their peace of mind.
If you take responsibility in such situations, you’ll stop blaming others. When you own the situation as a leader, you will be able to think with a clear mind and start looking for alternate ways to get things done.
Scenario #3: In this case, a huge force that is totally beyond your control takes over the situation and creates an irreversible change in your life. For example, your flight might get cancelled, you may get rejected in a job interview, you may fail in your 12th grade exam, you may lose a loved one, your mother may get diagnosed with a terminal disease etc. These are difficult situations to deal with as they can completely change your life. Most people start questioning why this has happened to them. They start blaming their fate, destiny, karma, black magic and even God! By doing that, you are giving away the power you have over your life.
The best way to handle this scenario powerfully would be to accept what has happened and come to terms with reality. Robin Sharma says, “What you Resist will Persist, What you Befriend will Transcend.” This mindset will help you accept that every situation is whole, complete and perfect. What you think as a curse today, can be a blessing in the long-term. Our human minds cannot perceive the way the Universe works. While playing tennis, you can hit the ball however you want when it comes to your side of the court. But, you cannot do anything when the ball is in your opponent’s court. Therefore it’s best not to fret over things that are beyond our control.
In summary, whatever be the situation, if we accept the result whole-heartedly, we gain incredible power over it. Instead, if we worry about what others would think or say, we are giving away our power to others. This applies for both failures as well as successes. When you fail, people will criticize. When you succeed, people will appreciate. Cricket players are classic examples because after every match or tour, they are faced with one of the two situations. If they get bogged down by the criticism, they cannot perform well in their next match. If they get carried away by the laurels, they may become complacent and not give their best for the next match. Staying immune to how the world reacts will give you control over your emotions and ultimately, over your life as well.