This article came together as a result of serendipity. I had opened up my browser, and happened upon the article from Zen Habits, “The Illusion of Control”. Leo talks about some aspects of control, from our children, to tracking things to an obsessive level of detail, to overly planning trips.
Then I flipped over to my email, where I saw a plea from a member of a mailing list that there were too many emails coming through to him, and could everyone please only send one to the email list per day?
I smiled as I read the email, thinking how interesting it was that this man found it easier to request others to modify their behavior, rather than modifying his reaction…and deleting the email he couldn’t handle.
As humans, we want to be in control. We want to have the sense that we are not at the mercy of the whims of the universe. But we’re not.
I know as soon as life seems to get crazy, I immediately try to corral it, making lists and plans and whatnot. It gives me the feeling of being in control, but in reality, I’m not.
A 90+ year old friend of mine says that she can’t control anyone but herself, and she’s not successful at that most of the time either.
How much energy do you spend trying to do everything you can to ensure an outcome? Does it work for you?
It’s OK to make plans. Just don’t plan the outcome.
Photo by Sean MacEntee