Saturday, November 11, 2017

Crafting a life that matches your vision of principled living

There’s a significant difference between being controlling and being in control of the quality of your life. 

One is the obsessive need to exercise control over yourself and others and take command of every situation. 

The other is the empowered efficacy of crafting a life that matches your vision of principled living. 

One is an attempt to dictate how everything is done around you through micromanaging perfectionism. 

The other is taking charge of our environment, aiming yourself in the direction of your own creation and being smart about your relationship to meaning. 

I’m reminded of a popular study on temptation. Hoffman’s research showed that the people with the best relationship with control were the ones who used their willpower less often. 

Instead of fending off one urge after another, he found, these people set up their lives to minimize temptations. They play offense, not defense, using their willpower in advance so that they avoid crises, conserve their energy and outsource as much self control as they can. 

What a relief. Because ever since I was young, I always thought there was something wrong with me. That my desire to control the quality of my life and my characteristic unwillingness to compromise was some kind of condition to be embarrassed about or medicated for. 

But it’s not. Look, life is chaotic and complicated. And so, I’m going to do whatever I have to do to manage anxiety, set healthy boundaries, protect my time, organize my daily existence and find vehicles through which I can exert some measure of comfort over the course of my own lives. 

Otherwise I’m merely floating through it, driven by the currents of the gods. No thanks. 

Are you a control freak, or are you simply in control of the quality of your life?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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