Become a control freak

BY: Julius Mawuli Ziorklui

I wish there was a pill that would give me the ability to control every aspect of my life. I know I am not the only one who has this wish or desire.

Deep down, we want to be able to have full control over every part of our lives. Although this is not possible, we somehow are wishful about it.

How do I know this? This is exemplified by the things we worry about on a daily basis. Although not healthy, we tend to worry about things we can’t control.

For most people, not worrying makes them feel they are not careful enough. Hence, they resort to worrying about things that are way beyond their control.

While this may happen consciously for some people, others have no idea they are worrying about things beyond their control. Sometimes it takes professional help to help them expose this unhealthy practice.

Regardless, it is important to note that as human beings, we are limited but unique in a lot of ways. Our limitations don’t make us inferior but rather help us have this human experience we are all having. For a moment, imagine how the world would be if humans had the power to control everything or determine the way everything ended!

Let me bring my argument home! When you hear news indicating that it would rain on a day you are planning to have a programme, what would you do? Let us consider all the solutions to this problem.

A solution would be to pray or hope that it doesn’t rain. Another solution would be to put in measures so that even if it rains, your programme is not affected. Which of these two options is more controllable by you?

Fortunately for us, a lot of things are within our control. But the problem is that, people often underutilise this power and end up stressing themselves out. I have seen people try to solve problems that had gone past a certain stage. In order words, they were just massaging a stone. Let us consider some of the things we can control:

A lot of people do not recognise this but the things you can avoid are within your control. So our first point of control is the events or things that are avoidable. There are myriads of people who are troubled because they did not or are not avoiding things they should be avoiding.

Inasmuch as this may not always be easy; it requires a certain radicalness to implement. Some people will have to come to that point in their lives where they have to come to terms with the fact that avoiding certain people, places, and activities is that ticket to their well-being. If it is avoidable, avoid it.

Sometimes we lose the opportunity to avoid some of the events of our lives. But all hope is not lost. Some of these circumstances can be changed. I have heard a lot of young people rant about how their parents didn’t provide them with the care they needed. They blame everyone for their problems.

Unfortunately, most of the things they rant about have gone past the avoidable stage. In other words, these people are just barking at the wrong tree. That same energy should be expended on how to practically change their circumstance.

Also, sometimes, we do not have the opportunity to avoid or change some of the circumstances that befall us in life. Again, all hope is not lost. There is something you can control about such situations. And that is, controlling how you look at the circumstance, finding practical ways to plan your life around it.

For example, if you are diagnosed with a chronic condition, know that you’ve gone past the avoidable and preventable stages. What you can do now is try to look at it in a more positive light and find practical ways by which you can live fully with the condition.

Interestingly, we can all become control freaks because we have the super power to do so. Unfortunately, our power to control is not absolute.

Therefore, we can’t control everything. However, we can control a lot of things. And we can do that by properly categorising the circumstances we face and expending the requisite energy.