Are We In Control?


The things that we experience in life oftentimes seem to be binary. There’s a sense of randomness combined with a sense of order. There is a sense of control and a lack of control. Specifically, with respect to the things that happen to us and also the things that we facilitate. And even more specific, our thoughts.

In nature, there are countless things that occur that are out of our control: the weather, natural disasters, the actions of others etc. But there are also things that we do control and directly facilitate: namely our actions, the way we behave and live our lives.

Taking that one step further, regardless of what happens in our external world, whether it’s something we were directly responsible for, or indirectly responsible for, or not responsible for at all, we can control how we deal with these events or how we perceive them or interpret them.

We have direct control over our thoughts. Granted, there is certainly an aspect to our thinking and our mind that is totally out of our control and completely random: thoughts spontaneously arise from our external environment, our memories, our core values and beliefs, our childhood experiences, etc. 

But, unless we have a clinical or medical challenge that prevents us from controlling our thoughts, it’s all on us. Life is not about what happens to us, rather, but how we perceive or process what happens to us. We have freedom of thought and we can choose how to use those thoughts in any given circumstance.

It’s All About Mindset

In the middle of so much chaos and randomness and things that happen outside of our control, we can choose to accept this is simply part of life. We can always overcome harm or stress or disaster in our lives, adopt a growth mindset and take action to become resilient in the face of hardship. We can accept that the world is both random and ordered and use the free will we have and what is controllable in our lives to our advantage.

When we change our thoughts and recognize that good can always come from evil, our state of mind improves. Taking it one step further, perhaps a greater good that emerged from an evil or disaster would not have otherwise emerged if there had not been that evil or disaster. Again, this goes back to mindset and choosing to adopt a positive, rational, growth mindset for better well-being. 

Bad times don’t last forever. Strength and resilience is built off of the back of hardship and pain. We can improve our mental health as well as our physical health. We can lean into stress and challenge. It makes us better and we also have control of the outcome.

We can curb our thinking in a way that leads us to greater success and fulfillment in life. This occurs by adopting the inevitable fact of reality that there are certain things that we simply cannot control. But the most important things (our thoughts) we can control.

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