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Personal Growth

What Can You Control?

Many of the things I write about on this blog fall into the category of things that I have some control over; in other words, things that I can set about to do and accomplish with regularity and relative ease.

This is no accident.

I think that having a sense of control in one’s personal experience is important to one’s sense of well-being. I’m not talking about trying to control everything in your life– that is not healthy or realistic. However, having a sense that you have agency, the ability to accomplish things that matter to you, that is important to being happy.

So where does this sense of control/accomplishment happen? I think a good place to start is your daily routine. It is quite possible to find satisfaction and a sense of purpose in the seemingly mundane. For example, you may not be able to solve the world’s problems, but you can walk your dog! You may not be able to achieve all your financial goals right now, but you can pay this month’s bills and save a little extra for your future.

There may be some “big dream” type goals that I can’t right this instant achieve… but I can read twenty pages of a good book. Or I can go on a run. Or I can have a good conversation with my wife. Or I can teach my student. Or I can play a video game on my phone. Or I can write a piano composition.

These are all things within my control. Some of them involve “the big dreams” I have had for my music career, which is fine as long as those actions are fun and manageable. Some of them do not. In fact, some of them quality simply as good distraction.

Here’s a list of actions that fall under my Circle of Influence/Control:

Thing I Can Control:

  • What I eat/ when
  • How and when I exercise
  • What I read, when and how often I read
  • The things I say to others/ how I act around and toward others
  • Who I am being in any moment, ie aligned, happy, distracted, present, worried, pain in the butt, resistant, satisfied, appreciative
  • How I spend my money / How much I save
  • How I view others in my life/ my attitude
  • My own thoughts and feelings
  • Blogging here when I set out to blog
  • Taking time out to write and commune with my thoughts, Inner guidance (“Higher self”)
  • Intending my own alignment with my dreams, with who I want to be, with how I want to be; and giving myself a wide berth of time and flexibility to manifest these things
  • What I focus on in every moment (whether positive or negative, appreciation or resentment, empowering topics or disempowering ones)
  • Gradually shifting my habits to be empowering and positive.

On the other hand, here are things I cannot control:

  • Other people’s actions, thoughts, and feelings (yes, that means what people post on Facebook as well!)
  • Global events (the economy, politics, news stories, etc)
  • “world problems”
  • the accomplishment of those “big” goals that I’m not yet ready for, ie, that I still have resistance, confusion, or other misaligned thoughts and patterns around
  • the Past

I’m happy to say that the list of things I can control is a lot longer than the one I cannot! I think that is because these days I am much more focused on the things I can control rather than things I can’t!

The bottom line is that I believe it is for more effective, and much more happy-making to focus on things that we can control, influence, direct and accomplish than things that we cannot 😉

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