“Control is never achieved when sought after directly. It is the surprising outcome of letting go.”
– James Arthur Ray
Let go of control.
You have to accept that there is so much in this world that is beyond our control. There’s a fantastic scene in the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button that shows all the events that led to one of the characters getting struck by a taxi. With so many factors effecting change, you have to accept that even with the most careful of planning things can quickly take another direction.
Some real world examples include:
- How weather can affect election results.
- The recent grounding of flights across Europe because of a volcanic eruption and the possibility of another.
- Possible disruptions due to solar activity.
You may think it’s irresponsible to not try to control all parts of your life. However, constantly trying to control things erodes the finite resources we have for dealing with stress. The more you let go of things beyond your control, the more resources you can free to help you manage the things that are within your control.
Let Go of Possessions.
Not only would you be better off with less stuff, but you’ll also be better off if you let go of everything you own. I don’t mean to say that you should get rid of it, just acknowledge that material things aren’t that important. The only things I have that I consider irreplaceable are my diary and my photo library. Those I’d think about going back for if the flat was on fire. Everything else could burn. It’d be a bugger to replace it all, but it is just that: replaceable. Knowing that I could move on, leaving pretty much everything behind, is a powerfully freeing thing.
Let Go of Connectivity
Take a break from your connectivity. Jonathan Fields recently wrote an article on taking back your digital life.
People expect us to be accessible all the time, to be reachable, to be responsive, to be on call…24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Disabling the message on my iphone that says “sent wirelessly from my iphone” is now meaningless, because there’s been a change in public consciousness. People assume unfettered reach. They assume our perpetual state is instant reception.
And, that’s not always a good thing. Because, we all need space.
So step away from your computer. Turn off your mobile and unplug your phone. To be doubly sure you can get some alone time, go for a walk without telling anyone where you’re going. Enjoy the freedom of being disconnected.