Giving up control is difficult. It is against our nature and the notions that exist in modern society. In fact much of society is engineered to make a person feel like they have control.
Consider the plethora of tools that give you options, options that impart a false sense of control:
Smartphones with hundreds of thousands of apps
Remotes for practically every electronic item in your home
self checkout machines in stores
key fobs and bluetooth headsets, voice activated car systems and on and on
Control is something we don’t think about and constantly try to exert
I guarantee you sometime today you tried to exert control over a person or a situation; subtly or overtly you took action to bend things to your will.
But control is an illusion. It is an idea that we give ourselves to help us feel power, and through that power we feel comfort and security.
When we let this idea of control become too strong we start to make the wrong kinds of decisions
This is when we do things we know we shouldn’t do. Small things and big things. It can be innocuous, something as simple as, “I’ll just take this pen, even though I know it’s not mine” to, “I’m going to try and get this box spring through here even though I know it won’t fit” (Hint: I did the latter on Monday and now I have to re-fix the ceiling I just fixed)
By giving up control we actually gain more than we ever give up
Giving up control preserves your energy for things that matter
Instead of spending precious time and energy controlling and tweaking (setting up your computer just so, changing the wallpaper on your phone, making sure the tomato is cut into exactly 1/4″ slices) you can spend that energy in pursuit of your passions.
Giving up trying to control people frees even more energy
Getting another person to bend to your will consumes a great deal of energy. A thinking human is far different from a gadget or tool and trying to control a person takes substantial amounts of your energy. It also creates a negative energy from the manipulation. People do not like to be controlled and forcing another person to your will by any means is a disrespectful and harmful thing to do.
Giving up control is gaining control
It is paradoxical, but by giving up control you gain control over what’s important, you and your reaction to the world around you. In giving up control you gain flow, the ability to adapt, to be flexible and move with intuition and genuine intent. Giving up control and the expectations that come with it frees you to see what will emerge naturally and organically allowing you to nurture and help things grow instead of forcing things to your preconcieved will.
Giving up control allows you to realize your limits
Knowing your limits and when they can and can’t be crossed is important to making good decisions. The hubris of control is exactly what leads to trying to shove a box spring through a door it won’t fit through. Realizing this kind of limit saves time and energy. Energy that is better spent on the execution of ideas and in breaking through the boundaries we put around ourselves, boundaries created by the illusions of control.
Giving up control increases your sphere of influence
When you actively try to control and force an outcome, other people that may be involved will chafe under this and while you might achieve what you feel to be the desired outcome your sphere of influence will actually decrease, not increase. The people involved will be less likely to appreciate your efforts and will try to avoid working with you again, and in some cases may even actively work against you.
Giving up control allows you to be extraordinary
By giving up control you allow things to exist with all possibilities and then flow and adapt from within to achieve a desired outcome. In this way you save energy and allow yourself to work within your limits. At the same time you will be able to intuitively recognize opportunities for you to burst through your limits and be extraordinary.
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