Happiness tip 4: control

By Jena Griffiths | March 12, 2013

“We cannot control everything in our lives but… we do have the ability to control how we meet the world” Brendon Burchard

Today’s happiness tip comes from Brendon Burchard, author of The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive.
I have the audio version in my car at the moment and it’s brilliant. I keep replaying this particular part.
Our happiness depends on how in control we feel of our own lives. Yet most of the misery we feel comes from trying to take control – of the wrong things!
Things that either can’t be controlled or aren’t relevant.
We can’t control external events or other people but we can control ourselves:
our character, our attitude, our self concept, our interpretation/meaning and where we put our energy or focus.

So what to do?
To put the spark back in your eyes Brendon says just control 3 things:
1. control your outlook and character
2. control for new
3. control your workflow

Controlling your outlook and character
Besides choosing positive thoughts over negative expectations
we can change the meaning we give to anything. How we interpret what happens to us.
This is really the crux of everything and you are 100% in control of this.
Burchard’s words remind me of the 1946 classic on this topic by Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl: Man’s Search for Meaning.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Dr. Viktor Frankl
The meaning we give to our lives, to whatever happens, makes or breaks us.
The other thing that makes or breaks us is our self concept.
And we can learn to safeguard and be a guardian of our self concept (to catch ourselves in the act of eroding our own self perception and to stop doing this to ourselves.)
Keeping track of our negative self talk in a journal is the first step to changing this self talk to a kinder more supportive voice.
On making moment to moment choices about how we meet the world, Brendon suggests continually asking oneself: “Do my actions reflect the quality of person I want to be?”
In any moment or situation we can purposefully choose to act as our highest self would act.

Control for new
Our brains are hardwired for novelty and challenge. We need to build this into our lives.
Brendon suggests get away completely every 90 days, expand your peer circle through networking, go to shows and events and have fun learning new skills.
Control your workflow
Manage what you invest your energy in and try to take full ownership of tasks.
Except for an initial check for awaited work or responses don’t look at your email except during the last hour of the day.
I highly recommend this book or the audio series for your car.
How does the need to be in control of your environment show up in your hands?

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