What would happen if one day, you woke up and realized that the only thing that’s in your control is yourself? 

Well newsflash for you, that day is today. The price of groceries, the stock market, the way the neighbor likes to party, your co-worker being promoted instead of you (and the list could go on), are really outside of your control to influence. We don’t have the ability to control events but we do have the ability to control how we respond to those events. 

I also believe that we shouldn’t give up our control to a higher power, we need to own our circumstance. Sure I support believing in whatever deity you want, but I don’t believe in blindly giving up your power and control to effect change in our lives.

Dokkōdō Principle #19: busshin wa totoshi, busshin o tanomazu (仏神わととし仏神お頼まず) English interpretation: Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help

Musashi was directing his students to really consider that we shouldn’t just rely on a higher power to do everything for us. If you pray, pray. But when it comes time to act, you need to act don’t wait for that higher power to just “fix” everything for you. It doesn’t work that way in my experience.

The actions we take are a direct result of the thinking that we have and the beliefs that we hold onto. Those beliefs shape the emotions we feel about different types of circumstances that we find ourselves in. Those emotions will then dictate the actions we take or don’t take.

The first step is to focus on what you can control. If you’re feeling frustrated because you’re not able to change some aspect of your life, try changing the way you think about it. Instead of focusing on something that’s outside of your control, ask yourself what you can do to make the situation better. In my opinion you shouldn’t just rely on a hope and a prayer and call it good.

You can however learn to be happy with the events that are happening and help others to do the same. Really, in a nutshell that is the only thing we do have control over. Our response.

I recommend you get better in tune with your authentic self. Understand what things bring you joy and what things take that joy away. Find your reason for being. In short, the Japanese refer to this as your ikigai.

You may have seen the Venn diagram about ikigai, unfortunately, that is not what ikigai means. Ikigai is a spectrum of different sources and feelings and is very much experiential, meaning it is the things you experience.

I like to think about ikigai like this… Ikigai is all about the things in my life, my relationships, my hobbies and my dreams that make me, well me. It has nothing to do with ambition or drive to be successful, it really is about me and my reason for getting up in the morning. 

I recognize that there is a larger power at work in the universe, but I believe that giving up my control to that power is neither helpful or wise for my well being. I trust in the laws of the universe but also trust in my ability to know what my mind and body need.

If you would like to learn more about how to discover your ikigai, reach out I am going to be launching a new group coaching cohort soon and can put you on a waitlist.

#ikigai #selfcontrol #lifeharmony

2 thoughts on “What would happen if one day, you woke up and realized that the only thing that’s in your control is yourself? 

  1. Pingback: Your long term success depends on being true to your authentic self now | Steve Beauchamp

  2. Pingback: The vital importance of self leadership and being connected to yourself & strategy | Steve Beauchamp

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