Why The Only Thing You Should Try To Control Is Your Attitude

by Dan Scotti

As human beings, it’s natural to constantly want control of things -- in relationships, the workplace and with regard to matters of life in general.

And while we might strive to stay in life’s driver’s seat, with both hands on the wheel at two and 10 at all times -- it’s important to realize that’s not possible.

You can’t plan for life. I don’t care what anyone tells you. You can be the most diligent, prepared, disciplined person on the face of the planet, and things will still go wrong.

Certain things are just out of your reach. Tragedies strike, bad luck comes about in spurts, and sh*tty people will forever be sh*tty people.

If you constantly try to maintain control of all the people and situations around you, it will only be a matter of time before you come up empty-handed.

At the end of the day, the only thing you can control 100 percent of the time is your own attitude.

Having said that, your attitude can determine how you react to all of the situations and people around you -- so, by controlling that, you’ll inadvertently be putting yourself in a position of authority.

The little things -- like a positive attitude or a touch of ambition -- can take you as far as you let them.

You can’t expect anything in life.

You just can't. When you start to expect specific outcomes, you’re only setting yourself up to be let down. Sure, you might’ve expected a good job out of college, and that might not have worked out -- at least not yet.

You may have expected your last relationship to be the one or your social life to look slightly different. Whatever the case, when you become fixated on outcomes -- and not on how to react to outcomes -- you’ll never truly be happy.

If you focus on how to react to all of life’s happenings, however, you’ll begin to respond better. Life isn’t about perfection. It’s about riding the ebbs and flows and ending up with your head above water when all is said and done.

Life’s a trip through uncharted waters -- it doesn’t follow any certain course.

Instead of anticipating your destinations and taking them for granted, focus on the journey. Smile, remain positive and construct multiple plans. When one doesn’t work out, fall back on your ambition first, and then figure out your next course of action.

Striving for control will lead to limiting comfort zones.

While you might think control of life will leave you with a sense of security, it’s not always for the better. In many cases, a sense of control is reached by becoming a creature of habit.

Sure, you might not deal with too many surprises in life because you’ve been limiting yourself to the walls of your own comfort zone.

If you ever feel fully in control of your life, you’re probably not living it to the fullest. Shake things up. They say life begins once you leave your comfort zone, so that means life begins once you start to give up control.

Control is subjective; it’s an illusion. There’s no such thing as control, unless you can determine the direction the wind will blow, at any given time.

Oftentimes, control is confused for predictability. If you feel like you can control your life, you’re probably mistaken and need to shake things up.

An attitude will take you further than control can.

You can have the perfect, most “foolproof” plan devised for the rest of your life, and it won’t guarantee you anything. Life has a habit of throwing us curveballs, and when it does, we’ll likely be forced to head back to the drawing board and figure something else out.

And it’s not always with negative things, either. When you set your heart on one thing, you limit yourself to the other alternatives.

You might’ve thought you had your sh*t figured out, until an even better opportunity comes around. And what will you do then? Pass up a potentially enormous opportunity because it wasn’t what you once had in mind -- and because pursuing it might require following a road less traveled?

You can’t control opportunities. They come around without any rhyme or reason -- the only thing you can control is how receptive you’ll be when they do.

An attitude will take you a lot further than a sense of comfort, or control, will -- as that comfort will only last until something unexpected occurs.

See, attitudes aren’t situationally dependent. By aiming your attention to your attitude, you’ll set the tone for how you handle the unexpected.

Ultimately, if you can put yourself in the best place to react -- and respond -- to the unexpected, you’ll spend a lot less time worrying about what can go wrong if your plans don’t go accordingly. You’ll spend a lot more time living.