The title in this post may be a bit misleading in that you may be here under the premise that I will supply you with the answers to fix your life. So let me say this: I cannot fix your life. My hope, however, is that upon reading this post you will gain some clarity and perspective about where you are on your journey.
Life is a journey. It’s cliche and rather trite to refer to it as such, but it’s true. You begin in one place, and then you reach your 20s and you decide that adulthood means steering the ship. How many of us freaked out right after college when we discovered we’d be on our own to navigate the world? I know I did. I spent the first 3 years out of college feeling completely at sea. I went back to grad school mostly because I felt it would tether me to something for a while. And it did, but then it was over and I was back out in the world. Wanting, again, to be in charge of it all, and feeling frustrated that I wasn’t.
But you know what I’ve discovered at the ripe old age of 30-something? We have absolutley zero control over how things pan out. Think about it. Is where you are today exactly as you imagined? Sure, you can make choices to position yourself to achieve your goals, but when and how it all comes together doesn’t have much to do with you or your plans.
And when I talk to people, even people whom I assume are living the dream, they almost unanimously agree that their lives aren’t what they had hoped. Most are generally happy, now, but it took a while to get there.
So back to the original question: how do you take control of your life?
- You get over yourself. The sooner you get out of your own way the better.
- You recognize that you are not almighty. You are human. You work hard. You love hard. And you live your life. It’s all you can do and it’s all you should do.
- You start doing good things. Volunteer. Visit a sick family member. Call a friend who is going through some tough times. Become a better, less self-absorbed, version of yourself.
- Be kind to yourself. Nobody has the answers, so don’t beat yourself up for not being able to make things happen sooner.
- Be still. You will not believe the clarity that can come about when you allow yourself to be present and embrace where you are.
How do you take control of your life? You accept that you don’t really have control and you let things unfold as intended.