Taking Control Over Your Life (Part 1)
Image by garrett parker on unsplash
What makes a life Extraordinary? What would make your life worth living? What things do you have to do to achieve that? How will you do those things?
These are big, hairy questions, but they’re important. That’s why we ask them. We aim to help you use any hair-removal tool or mindset; to shave off whatever gets in the way of these questions. You’ll have to get a clear look at them, so that you can get a true answer. We teach different materials for this, step-by-step. Now, what step shall we take today...
How about the very first step? The one thing that comes before all self-improvement, and the foundation for personal development.
You have to know this before you can change your life… that sounds heavy, right?
Well, yes. But also, no.
Because it’s something you already know, yet you might’ve completely forgotten about it. No worries - in a couple of minutes you will have remembered. And it can change how you see the world, your place in it - and the possibility for an extraordinary life.
This lesson is perhaps the simplest lessons you’ve ever learned. It’s one of the earliest things you came to know in life. So let’s take a backwards trip, over the sea of time. Destination port: the time you were a baby.
Now then. Where are you? Who and what do you see around you? Imagine it for a bit. Do you see yourself? You’re a hairless, energetic little meatball. Like we all are as babies. You are full of potential, but without knowledge. You sleep, eat, burp, chirp, and poop, like a chipper mini-human does.
And at some point, you notice something.
You feel uncomfortable. You don’t know what it is, and you don’t know how to respond. You feel something well up from your tiny eyes and lungs - and you cry your little heart out. What happens after this transforms everything. Namely:
And they lift you, gently, and coo for you and hold you, until the discomfort goes away. Perhaps they feed you. Change your diaper. Anything. And you are back to your chipper self, smiling and drooling - and on the edge of discovery.
Image by PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay
After this happens a couple of times, some neurons in your brain start ‘wiring’ together. You begin to see a pattern: you cry, and then you’ll get attention. Even if it doesn’t hold true 100% of the time. Through it, you begin to innately understand that you have influence on the world.
That’s the lesson. You have influence on the world.
Obviously, though, that’s not all there is to learn.
We move forward through time; faring back towards the harbor of the present but not there yet. Growing up you’re learning about the world; recognizing its patterns and “how it works”. After a while you’ll get used to the currents in your environment, and you start trying to navigate them. At times you’ll get into new situations; you may be uncertain at first but you learn. From your own experience, and from the examples and explanations of others. Eventually you become competent enough to navigate the patterns.
Look at you. You are the captain now!
Being in the captain’s position, though, there are two traps that you should become aware of.
Trap number one:
The patterns of the world may (start to) seem fixed and out of your reach. You’re taught that “this is how you sail the sea - and no other way.” This, then that, then that. Whether in education, business or in life, most patterns seem to be set. It’s called: “That’s just how it works”.
Trap number two:
Though people are largely similar, they are also unique. The patterns in your environment may not support who you are or what you want. For instance, let’s say you are a dancer (or an artist, or an athlete, or an entrepreneur, …) at heart. Growing up you’ve always been told to do what’s logical and that you should choose a study that will get you a good and stable job. You can see the clash.
So why are these traps? That’s because, if you believe that “the world just works this way” and it doesn’t work favorably for you, then you are stuck. Since you are the captain - thus the one responsible for your life - you will most likely stick with what you know. You’ll navigate the patterns you are aware of, even if they don’t lead to your best outcome. This, then that, then that. Then an unfulfilled life.
That port that calls your heart remains unvisited. You may not even realize it exists.
Image by Markus Christ on Pixabay
Feeling like the environment has power over you - feeling that the ability to change things doesn’t lie within you - is known as having an ‘external locus of control’ in psychology. If you cry about that as a captain, no-one will gently pick you up and coo for you. However, you don’t have to get lost in the waters of familiarity. Do you remember the very first lesson you learned? It still holds true:
You have influence on the world.
That is unchanged.
It’s your hands on the wheel. Even if others have mapped out the environment and told you which way to point the rudder, you get to steer. If you realize that, you can break through almost any pattern, and steer towards a better port.
In the second part of this article, we’ll get more into what the locus of control is, what it means to have an internal locus of control and how to shift from an external one to having a more internal one.
-To the Extraordinary, you