There is so much obscurity, so much smoke surrounding the concept of having control of one’s life that most fail miserably in attaining it. There seem to be so many variables involved that finding a good place to start can prove to be near impossible. It’s true — there are a ton of variables and factors that go into shaping your life, shaping you as a person and shaping your future.
Most of these factors are completely out of your control and no matter what you try, you will never tame them to bend to your will. This is the way that the world works and this is the reality we are born into. It may feel disheartening to know that so many outside forces have such a profound influence on you — but there is no way around it. You cannot control everything in your life, so don’t bother attempting to control what you can’t.
That’s where you need to start — stop trying to control those things that you cannot control. We spend more time than is worth mentioning worrying about the state of affairs that are entirely out of our reach. Obviously, we are affected by much that goes on in the world and often are affected profoundly.
The outside world has the ability to trigger our emotional responses; we don’t choose to be affected the way we are, we simply react to a cause. Nevertheless, the way that we deal with these emotions and how we process such information is entirely within our control. The one and only thing that we as people have control over — to an extent — is ourselves. We have control over us and us alone, nothing and no one else.
Now that we know you can only control yourself and nothing else, the question is: what parts of you can you control? Well… how many parts of you are there? In the fashion of one school of the philosophy of mind, let’s take it as truth that you are composed of two main parts — your body and your mind.
Therefore, in theory, for you to control you — the whole — you must first control each individual part of you — your body and your mind. A simple theory on paper, but not quite as simple in practice. Having control of your body and your mind proves to be rather difficult. It takes time, patience, a ton of focus and an unwavering desire to succeed.
Most importantly, you must understand that you cannot attack the problem from one side and one side alone — if you are to take control, then you must do so from all angles simultaneously.
The best way to start is by first prepping your body and prepping your mind. In order to prep your body, you need to warm it up, stretch. Do some core exercises and work on your flexibility. Control requires a certain level of freedom that can both be felt in your body and in your mind — freedom, dexterity, is the key to having control of your life.
You want to be able to feel your body, every nook and cranny. You want to feel as if you are flexible enough and strong enough to accomplish that which you want to accomplish. Start off your workouts slow and focus on your range of movement and speed.
Getting into shape is difficult not because our bodies let us down, but because our minds let us down; we fail because of lack of will power. This is why we need to train our minds while we train our bodies. Training our minds can prove to be an incredibly difficult task because what you are attempting to change is your perception of reality — your understanding of how things work.
This may sound abstract, but once you begin working toward your goals, you will understand exactly what I mean. In order to train our minds, we must start off similarly to the way in which we trained our bodies; we must slow down, relax, allow our brains to stretch and breath. Our minds are extraordinarily flexible tools, but we tend to keep them so cluttered that instead of feeling free and light, we feel constrained and heavy.
Practice meditation. This is a must and should not be avoided. There are many different methods of meditation. Stay open minded and curious and you will undoubtedly find the ideal way to slow down your thoughts and clear your mind. We have an incredible amount of thoughts going through our minds at all times.
If you do not believe me then close your eyes for 30 seconds and try not thinking of a single thing or picturing a single image. You can’t, can you? These thoughts run rapid through our minds clouding the thoughts that are more important to us and tiring us out, draining our mental energy. Start meditating every day for as long as you can. At first it will be very frustrating and you won’t be able to meditate for too long, but with practice, you’ll get there. And once you do, you will be in more touch with the outside world than you ever have before and more in control of your own actions.
Our body and mind are built in a way that training one automatically benefits the other. When our minds are overworked and we are stressed, our body pays for it just as much as our head. When the body feels uncomfortable and slow, our minds become distracted by it. Also, the chemicals that are produced by exercise and the confidence you will have from feeling comfortable in your own skin will leave you feeling incredible; you’ll be rolling on the world’s most natural high.
That’s why yoga is as popular as it is — it essentially combines the two separate parts of your body making you feel more whole. The only way to attain the control over your life is to take control of yourself — both body and mind. If you don’t control both then you don’t control your life.