The Perception of Control

There is something I have been saying to my daughter since she was about three. So of course, at twelve, she is extremely tired of hearing it. “Find the fun.” Three simple words. But these three little words can help make a huge difference in life.

As adults, we are faced with numerous chores, tasks and responsibilities each day. We have little control over many of them. So when faced with something I don’t want to do but simply have to, I try to find the fun. I look for a new or better way to accomplish the task. Or identify something positive about the situation. Or approach it as a learning opportunity so I derive benefit from it. Whatever the case, I try to find the fun. Sometimes, I can apply the phrasing literally and can actually make a task more fun to perform. (Who says I can’t be listening to “Hamilton” in my bunny slippers while working on that endless spreadsheet?!) Other times, it means I look for the positive side of something tedious or annoying. Either way, I am framing my own experience intentionally.

People frequently comment on the fact that I am always smiling and have positive energy. This is part of the reason why! I try to approach life as a series of enjoyable circumstances. I choose to see my surroundings for the possibilities inherent there, not the baggage weighing them down. It is my choice. I get to choose how I see, think, react, act. So do you.

Focusing on what we can control gives us at least a small sense of empowerment. We can make a difference even if we can’t change everything. Train yourself to identify what you can do to make a difference, instead of focusing on what you can’t do.

Your brain is the most powerful tool you will ever own. It can lead you anywhere. It can convince you of anything. Use it to your advantage, not your detriment. What you choose to focus on will become your reality. So focus on positivity and fun and curiosity and that will be how you see the world. If you focus on limits and setbacks and feeling powerless, that will shape your life.

There are more things in life that we cannot control than things we can. It will always be that way. Learn to go with it. You cannot control many circumstances but you can control your own reaction. Don’t waste your time being angry or bitter or endlessly frustrated. Where does that get you? Nowhere. It is simply wasted energy making no discernible difference. Except to make you slightly miserable.

Our life experiences are determined by how we choose to perceive our own reality. Perceive the positive. Find the fun.

Until you read again…