Living in an ever-changing world where we could become anything we can imagine will sometimes stress us out. Sometimes we lose our way due to the multitude of options presented on every path. I know right before I make a big decision in my life (quitting a job, starting a business, getting married, etc.) I get this overwhelming feeling that since I can’t decide, that I’m losing control over my life. The reality is that we forget how smoothly things can go even when you don’t know how they will turn out, but it’s all about our reactions. So, I decided that every time I feel like I have lost a part of me be it personal time, mental clarity or self-love I use one or more of the Life-Control methods. These Life-Control methods are from what I have learned through my experiences.
1. Love you.
This is a critical step in regaining yourself and keeping control over your life. The reason loving yourself is so important is because all of your problems stem from who you are at the center of your core. Have you ever had someone piss you off before? I have, plenty of times. Time and time again, it wasn’t because of what the other party did or said, it was all about how I took it in and held it in. When someone gives off the aggressive or negative energy, we think we must do the same to balance the playing field when it was never unbalanced. You can listen to what they are saying, and if it’s not of any importance, you should let it go and refrain from getting emotionally invested. When it comes to loving yourself, really pick up on what you want to do and how you would like to feel doing it. If you would like to go see a movie, go see the movie even if you are alone. If you want to eat at your favorite restaurant but can’t find anyone to come along, do it anyway. This method is teaching you that you can make yourself happy whenever you want to, and you don’t have to depend on the outside world to do it for you.
2. Give and keep giving.
Giving to others gives us the feeling of satisfaction, especially when the recipient isn’t expecting it. One morning, I went to grab a coffee from Dunkin Donuts about a mile from my home. I thought I was going to be late for work, but I still wanted the coffee to get my day started anyway. I waited in line for six or seven minutes when there were only three cars in the line total. When I finally made it up to the window, I prepared to pay for my coffee when the cashier was smiling with my coffee already held out the window and a slip in her hand. My initial thought was “She must be new,” giving me the coffee before she received the cash. To my surprise, the car in front of mine had already paid for my drink and gave the cashier a “Random Acts of Kindness” slip to give to me. The feeling I felt was better than any caffeine boost that any coffee could ever give me. My emotions and how I felt about the day and situation was turned from negative to positive in that instant. All I could do was display a huge smile from ear to ear. I sat and thought about all the things I had ever given people in the past and was now sharing an experience that they were when I would show random acts of kindness myself. An important thing that I learned is that wanting to give is very contagious because the next morning I was looking for a way to pass the slip on to someone else.
3. Take back your 24.
The 24 hours a day you were given on this planet is yours, all yours. I have found that doing the same task with no growth makes me feel like a hamster running in a wheel. For a few years, I was working the same job doing the same thing every day for 10 hours a day, and it was driving me insane. I then realized that’s why people say life happens fast. It’s because they don’t remember it. It’s not that life happens so fast but, we are just doing the same thing at the same time every day, and no new memories are created and no new skills are learned. I decided that I would do anything to get more of my time back. I begin waking up earlier and talking on the phone less, I deleted the social media apps from my phone and only installed them if I had an important update to post or wanted to post a picture. No timeline scrolling. I made sure I completed the most time-consuming task first because we know that if it’s time-consuming it will usually take twice the time by default. I even limited myself to how much I went grocery shopping and what time of day I went. (Night time is the best time). When you begin to take back your 24, you will see how much time was wasted on nonsense and not on things you wanted to do.
4. Discipline yourself.
Most of us grew up with parental figures that we could rely on for moral support. They taught us how to be who we are, how to like what we like and how to make the best decisions for our futures. What we must realize is that once we break off from our parents support it is now time to support ourselves mentally and physically. Most parents did their best to encourage us when we thought less of our selves or needed help. In short, the whole time they were raising us they were showing us how to raise ourselves. Teaching us how to cook so we could cook for ourselves, teaching us how to save money so that we could save for ourselves and showing us that sometimes you must do things you don’t want to teaches us the same lesson for our own lives. There are things in your life you know you should cut back on or stop doing completely but it will take self-discipline to make it happen. This is true for all changes big and small that you want to happen in your life. Discipline can become a habit as well if practiced long enough.
5. Find a hobby that you can get lost in.
A new hobby could be reading books, documentaries, playing sports, learning a new language, learning to salsa, you name it! Hobbies can help take your mind off random distractions and teaches you how to laser focus in on one thing at a time. Learning something new always takes focus and practice. When all of your work for the day is done, reports completed, and papers are written. It is essential to have a low priority activity that you can feel that space up with and not get bored. I say choose one hobby at a time because the skill and information learned from a hobby can help us in our day to day life and in pursuit of our goals. So choose wisely and carefully. My hobby is reading books, I will read almost anything. Books often become movies so that gives me books to read and movies to watch just from one hobby. So, find a hobby that is connected to another thing that can grow you professionally and develop you as a person.
6. Draw a line in the sand and don’t cross it.
We must take ourselves seriously at some point in time to regain our sense of self-respect. For example, if you decided that on your days off from work you are going to work on your side business for three hours a day, but someone calls you to hang out. Going out with this person may feel right at the time, but once you make it back to your computer you feel guilty, or if you stay out all night and must be to work in the morning, it still affects how you look at yourself and how serious you are about your commitments. I like to think that if it doesn’t help me some way or shape in the future, then it can wait. The more you show yourself you mean business the more you’ll mean business. This is with other as well, once you share your goals with someone close or a friend make sure to stick to them no matter what your friends say because once it’s all said and done it’s your goals and dreams no theirs. When you start to cancel on hangout time because you are running behind on a project they will then begin to respect you more and respect your time. Make sure to be firm in your words and that will those tough decision just that much easier.
Meditate because it helps with reactions and how you respond and act with others. You’ll become more of a thinker than a reactor, and this is great for regaining control. Have you ever done something and then think later, Why did I make such a hasty decision? Well, that’s because you didn’t think about it first. When we practice meditation, it begins to make us aware. The breathing exercises teach you that everything has a rhythm and just as fast as something came it will be gone again. Try focusing on the things that you think in life have derailed you from your life’s goals and passions and then release them.
Conclusion: Give these methods a try you don’t have to go in any particular order but notice the effect of each and the feelings you begin to experience. Good luck on reclaiming and regaining control over your life!