Now if I know you reader, you are leading a busy life balancing a mix of career aspirations, family commitments, your health and fitness, hobbies and a fun social life.
You likely want to find satisfaction in all of these areas and, with that hope, comes a certain desire to control your life - through a to do list, an organised calendar or a running list in your head (or all of the above).
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to live a well-rounded, fruitful life but with that desire to control every aspect of your life comes pretty big risks.
We can easily let ourselves down by missing an item on our list, others might not measure up to the image of our perfect life and it can just bring a whole heap of stress and anxiety with it.
Although I love to stay organised and work on creating a great life, I have also learnt to let go of some of the control I used to so tightly hold on to.
So why should you let go of control?
We are not living life on a points system
The brilliant coach Amy Young said this quote and I remember it daily.
Sure, ticking things off our to do list feels good, as does an organised schedule, but remember - there are no points for any of this.
The experiences I’m more interested in prioritising involve fun and connection with other people, not scrubbing my bathroom floor or answering every email in my inbox.
At the end of January with an empty public holiday weekend ahead, I thought to myself ‘I could declutter the house this weekend and get everything super organised’.
My next thought was ‘Hey, I’ve got nothing on this weekend - I could go visit my family for a few days and go swimming, go on long walks, eat out and catch up with them’.
Guess which one I chose? I’m pretty sure I’m going to remember that weekend more than I’d remember a Marie Kondo-ed linen closet.
Control never lasts
How many times in the last year have you finished your to do list? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
We obviously don’t want to let our lives and households fall apart, but adjusting to the idea that I’ll never really be up-to-date with my to do list is something I’ve come to accept.
I remind myself that it would be worse to have nothing to do, no aspirations and be sitting around bored with an empty to do list.
I have things I want to do, blog posts I want to write, TV shows I want to watch, places I want to visit and I don’t need to come at them with a sense of control - just a sense of curiosity and appreciation.
Controlling others is fruitless
Trying to control others is one we’ve all indulged in, I’m sure.
Our partners, kids, coworkers - if everyone could just behave as we want them to, life would be so much easier right?
A big lesson I’ve learnt is - you cannot control anyone, only your own thoughts about that person.
An attempt to control someone may seem like you are helping them or making life easier for yourself, but accepting others as they are is much more likely to serve you.
Think of someone trying to control your actions, nagging on you to change, telling you to act in a different, unnatural way. Even if you agree to it, you will most likely go back to what you wanted to do in the first place.
Other people are exactly the same.
Letting go of the need to control others lets you off the hook stress-wise as much as it lets them be who they want to be.
What are you trying to control in your life? How can you let go of that grip over the next week?