The author of “Life, the Truth, and Being Free’, Steve Maraboli, said, “Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.”
I couldn’t agree more with this statement. Significantly beautiful things happen to our lives if we focus our attention and energy on things we can fully control. On the other hand, if we spend so much time and energy on things that we cannot control, sooner or later, we will fail. We feel disappointed and discourage.
Let me share what I learned that you must know and master how to control to become better each day!
Five Things You Must Control in Life
#1. Control Your Thoughts.
Our thoughts are such a powerful tool that can help or break us. Our mind is so powerful that it can bring life to imagination. A situation can be an opportunity or a problem. It can be a happy moment or a sad moment in our lives. Even a success or a failure. Or a win or loss, depending on your mindset. That’s how powerful thoughts can be.
There are two thoughts: Your thoughts and other’s thoughts. You can control your thoughts but not others. Steve Maraboli quote reminds us that we must focus on things we can control. Why? If we can control our thoughts, it’s easier for us to discern situations. We can adequately think and make decisions that can benefit us and others.
On the other hand, if you focus on others’ thoughts, you will strive continuously to please them without success.
An article mentioned that there are seven ways to control our mind:
- Becoming aware and prepared mentally – especially on negative thoughts.
- When stuck on negativity, name it.
- Knowing that FEAR is ILLOGICAL.
- Erase negative thoughts and Replace them with fruitful ideas.
- Do a reality check. What are the chances of your visions becoming a reality?
- Present a moment of mindfulness.
- Most importantly, IT IS YOUR CHOICE.
#2. Control Your Words.
Remember the saying, “always be kind’? Controlling your words is a straightforward way of practicing kindness to yourself and others.
Part of my part-time work is to search for executives, c-level positions working in the sales and marketing field inviting them to our podcast show. To better build better professional trust and business confidence, I usually send a connection request on LinkedIn. Meanwhile, I don’t expect them to reply or accept my invitation instantly. Because they don’t know me professionally or personally—I’m entirely unknown to them.
I carefully review the profiles of c-levels and do not just randomly send a connection request. I understand the rudeness of spamming someone’s inbox.
One time, I found a CMO woman from a very well-known company globally. I was so excited because she met the criteria we are looking for. I thought she is a great resource and can share excellent insights to the sales and marketing community if she joins as a featured guest speaker in our podcast. So, tada! Send her a connection request with a note of my intention.
I was completely stunned and overwhelmed with her come back to me! Her message was sort of “I don’t know you. I will not accept your connection request. Don’t spam people. Do not deceive people.”
It was heartbreaking! I admired her because of her achievements based on her profile, but her words showed a completely different person. What kind of CMO is that? How can she accuse me of spamming people and deceiving people without her knowing me?
I understand and respect that she doesn’t trust me. Still, she could’ve remained silent. Or replied, “I’m sorry not to accept your connection request since I’m not comfortable having social media connections to people I don’t know professionally or personally”.
So, always control your words. Always be kind.
#3. Control Your Behavior.
Behavior is the way we act and conducts ourselves, especially towards others. When I was young, my mother and father always remind me of my behavior, mostly when I did something unruly and rude. They explained that having uncontrolled behavior will negatively impact my personality or character along the way and others.
Today, I realized how vital having controlled behavior, both professionally and personally. You can be admired and respected, or people may disconnect from you because of your character—behavior.
#4. Control Your Actions.
Actions speak louder than words. Will you disagree with this statement? A previous colleague was able to test my tolerance one time. I asked him politely if we can use the printer-scanner from his cabin since he doesn’t use it. He was always on-sites for visit and meetings with clients and suppliers. I asked him if we could move the printer-scanner out from his cabin to our use reception area. He agreed. He said yes, and he will do it. Days had come, weeks had come, nothing happened.
So, one day, I reminded him, and he again agreed. He even then apologized. Also, days and weeks passed, nothing happened. Until one day, it reached the point that we had a heated argument about it. I couldn’t print some urgent documents since most of our printer doesn’t have ink and had problems. The only faster way is to use the printer inside his cabin, but we can’t use it because his office is locked. He’s out of the office in a meeting.
We must always control our action for our good and others. Our actions can positively impact our lives and others. When we get into the habit of taking action, we do things that help other people in one way or the other.
#5. Control Your Feelings.
Our feelings—emotions can play a vital role in how we think and behave. The emotions we feel can influence us to take action and make a decision that can make or break us. So, it is crucial to recognize what you feel and manage your emotions.
Lately, we went for a walk around the Burj Khalifa area. When we headed home while walking, we accidentally overheard two men talking about a relationship. One of them told a story of his past—he met a woman (his flatmate), and they became intimate with each other. Unfortunately, the man has a family who left his home country for work in the UAE. The affair took almost four years (if I heard him correctly) but went cold and eventually ended. The other man asked why. He said the woman probably realized that the affair is not worth it.
Being in love and having intimacy with others is not wrong and completely normal. But being in-love and intimate with a committed person is something questionable and problematic. Always have the decency to control your feelings.
Another story! My hubby leads a team in a kitchen. One of his chef members was not performing well and is considered a weak link among them. So, he spoke with him and told him to improve his performance. Days and weeks passed, despite training and helpful advice, the chef did not improve. So, my hubby had to spill the bad news! It was quite difficult for my hubby when he decided to dismiss the chef. Today’s global economy is not well due to the pandemic. Instead of making a subjective decision because of that situation, he used an objective decision. They need a team member who can deliver. He controlled his feelings towards the case and the chef.
In life, there are things that we can control and not control. That’s natural, and it’s only a matter of choice! Remember to focus on things that you can manage and let go of the things you cannot. Don’t put pressure and too much tension on your shoulder. Always keep it cool and in control.
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