Does life seem to be passing you by? Barely anything changes and when it does, it’s rarely for the better? You may feel like you’ve officially lost control of your life, but it’s easier than you realise to get back in control. Believe it or not, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react. This means that you are in control of your life – even if it doesn’t feel that way right now. Not convinced? Then read on to discover exactly what you need to do to take control of your life today.
How to take control of your life
Change your mindset
Have you heard that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react? There’s no study to prove this, but think about some of life’s strange coincidences and you’ll quickly realise this is probably true. Have you ever had babies on the brain and suddenly noticed pregnant women everywhere you look? Or perhaps you’ve been lamenting about your single life and everyone around you suddenly seems to be smugly coupled up.
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react. There’s no study to prove this, but think about some of life’s strange coincidences and you’ll quickly realise this is probably true.
And what about those people who seem to be inexplicably lucky? They always land on their feet and opportunities come flooding to them, while you… well…
Ernest Hemingway said “You make your own luck” and we think there’s a lot of wisdom in those words because luck comes down to how you view life i.e. your mindset. Mindset matters because it impacts your beliefs, your beliefs affect how you act, and how you act significantly determines how your life turns out.
So, how can you change your mindset?
You’ll need to start by identifying your current mindset. There are two types: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
What is a fixed mindset?
People with a fixed mindset believe they are born a certain way and they simply can’t change. They feel that their talents, abilities, intelligence and even luck are predetermined.
These are people you’ll often hear saying:
“I’m not smart enough”, “I’m not creative”, “I’m not that lucky” or “Good things don’t happen to me”
Just as you see pregnant women everywhere when you start thinking about having a baby, you also buy into fixed beliefs. If you believe that nothing good ever happens to you, you’ll only ever notice the bad things around you.
What is a growth mindset?
On the other hand, those with a growth mindset appreciate that they can get better at things if they study, practice and persevere. This doesn’t mean that they’ll eventually become amazing at something they currently struggle with, but they realise that they can improve significantly at whatever they put their mind to, and that improvement is something worth achieving.
Get clear about what you want
What exactly do you want in life? Not sure? This may be why you don’t feel in control of your life. If you wake up each morning and go through the motions until it’s time to go to bed, you’re destined to continue to live life on autopilot. With no clear focus or goal in life, you have no guiding compass, and with no compass, it’s easy to wander aimlessly.
So, how can you work out what you want in life?
It’s easier than you think.
Fast forward to the end of your life and imagine you’re at your funeral. You’re listening to your eulogy. What do you want to be remembered for/as? Take a minute to really think about it. What’s the legacy you want to leave behind in the world? That’s your ultimate goal.
With no clear focus or goal in life, you have no guiding compass, and with no compass, it’s easy to wander aimlessly.
Are your daily actions moving you towards that goal or away from it?
If the answer is the latter, there’s your problem.
The quickest way to get back in control of your life is to think about the next thing you need to do to move you closer to that goal… and go do that thing.
Once you’ve done it, do the next thing you need to do to get closer to your ultimate goal. Rinse, repeat and watch what happens.
Embrace the unknown
Sometimes, the harder you try to control something, the more out of your control it becomes. This is particularly true for life and this may be why you feel like your life is out of your control – you’re trying to control something you simply can’t.
Ask yourself how many of the great things you had planned for your life have worked out exactly as planned. If you’re like most people, it’s likely that someone or something unexpected cropped up along the way and derailed your plans. But on the other hand, we’re willing to bet that many of the good things that have happened to you were probably sparked by a happy accident rather than through careful planning.
Ask yourself how many of the great things you had planned for your life have worked out exactly as planned.
Now, we’re not saying you should sit back, do nothing and wait for life to unfold. Not at all. You’ll need to keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities, act on your intuition and put yourself out there so you meet the people or go to the places that will put you on the life path you want to be on. But even when you’re working hard and doing all the ‘right’ things, obstacles will pop up. The trick to persevering when this happens is to stop being attached to how you get to your ultimate goal. Trust that – just as you go to bed certain you’ll wake up the next morning – it will happen.
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