Education

Control is an Illusion

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We are great at putting time and energy into achieving the results we want. And the more effort we put in, the more we feel entitled to get the results. When our expectations are met, we feel a sense of security and accomplishment; we feel safe and on track. We expect that life will evolve according to our plan and that people will behave in a predictable way. We all love control because the unknown is downright scary. In fact, I think control has become the master addiction. But the truth is we really don’t have complete control over our lives, and nothing illuminates that truth more brightly than an Expectation Hangover.

For example, you have an idea of what you are going to do tomorrow, but there are a million unexpected things that could happen to alter your plans. Am I saying that everything is up to some Higher Power? No, all of us have free will and therefore have influence over the course of our life. However, we do not have total control over when, how, or if certain events will happen. What we do have is total control over how we respond to what happens.

But we put far more effort into attempting to control our lives and make things happen than we put into taking responsibility for how we react to Expectation Hangovers. All the effort in the world will not always guarantee the result we desire. When you stop grasping for certainty, a deeper sense of trust emerges. And I don’t just mean trust in the Universe or a Higher Power; I mean trust in yourself and your own capacity to respond to life in an optimal way. Besides, if you knew everything that was going to happen, you would miss out on life’s pleasant surprises.