The desire for control is one of the biggest causes of stress and unhappiness in people’s lives. There are actually very few things in life we can control and accepting this is one of the keys to lifelong happiness. There are so many of life’s eventualities are beyond our control. So work out what you can influence and come to a peaceful acceptance of the rest. Unless we have a crystal ball we don’t know how the future is going to unfold. Focus on the things you can influence and don’t fret over the rest.
If your goal is to live in a state of happiness, you need to choose your battles wisely. Unless you have a very high chance of victory, spare your energy and walk away. Every time you willingly fight a losing battle, you are welcoming stress and unhappiness into your life. In cases you must fight regardless, don’t be attached to the outcomes. Enjoy your experiences for what they are, what you have gained and what you have learned.
In the game of life, the most important thing is just showing up and doing your best. Being the best you can be is not a competition. Let go of the idea of winning or losing. The only person you should ever compete against is yourself. Focus on your own goals and leave everyone else to focus on theirs.
No matter how much you care about someone, you can’t take responsibility for their happiness. It is their life and it is up to them how they live it. You can’t make someone do something just because you want them to. What you do have, however, is the opportunity to influence their choices.
The best way to get what you want from a situation is to have clarity about the outcome you want to achieve. Unless you know what you really want, it is very hard to get it. The same can be said for any conflict or challenging situation. Once you have defined your ideal outcome, you have something on which to focus your influence. Once you recognize that all you have is influence, not control, you can detach yourself from the outcome and your happiness is not dependent on it.
Over-achievers are rarely happy. The more robust your self-esteem the easier it is for your sense of self-worth to be self-referred. You can tell yourself how great you are on your own. Being a control freak is a sign of a vulnerable self-esteem. The better you feel about yourself the less you need to control everything around you. The only thing you have total control over is who you choose to be. So be the best you can be.