Life is pain and suffering and we don’t get to choose when it hurts – we enjoy the illusion of control.
People have always desired to have control over their lives. That’s why most of us are chasing big amounts of money – we believe that making tons of money will give us control over our happiness.
While that may be somehow true, that happiness provided by money will disappear when someone close to you will die. Yes, this situation is a bit extreme and what I’m trying to say is this: trying to have control over something (in the previous case: happiness) is an illusion because you can’t always have that something (happiness).
Yes, you can build yourself a life where you are happy most of the time but the more you try to force it, the more it hurts and you’re going to punish yourself when it doesn’t happen.
The illusion of control is nothing more than pain
I see this everywhere and I’m going to give two specific examples.
1. Communication and relationships
Lots of people are just hearing what others are trying to say. They don’t even bother listening. And they do this because they have some ideas that they want to express so badly that they can’t lose control over their ideas.
For a while, they feel great. They feel really strong and powerful because they managed to speak up their mind and nothing stopped them, not even what the person in front of them was trying to say.
While you may think this is good because you expressed your thoughts, it’s actually bad.
You see, when you try so hard to control something so simple as expressing your thoughts, you can’t listen to others anymore. All your mental energy will be around the topic that contains your thoughts. And the more you want to say it out loud, the less you’ll listen to others.
Did you know that optimism enhances creativity by 27%?
How optimistic are you?
Did you know that optimism is connected to motivation, coping, and well-being? It is. And it is also connected to depression and doubt and many other things.
Click the button below and grade each of the 10 statements on the screen. It takes less than 3 minutes and you get your results right away.
2. Success and failure
You know that moment when you’re trying to learn something it doesn’t go your way from the first time?
How about that moment when you’re trying to learn something and you fail the first 5 or 10 times?
It’s painful, right? That’s real and it hurts.
Instead, you trying to hide that pain is an illusion. It will come back at you, in a different form of frustration.
- “I’ve tried to learn marketing but after two weeks of learning I stopped because I was feeling like I don’t learn a thing.”
- “I’ve tried to paint a landscape but after wasting 5 hours of work and 8 papers I stopped because I thought it’s not worth it.”
- “I’ve tried to write a book but whenever I start writing I feel like I have nothing to say.”
I could go on with the examples but I guess you get my point.
The thing is you may try to hide your current pain but it will never go away. If you want to learn marketing and you give up after two weeks, months or whatever, you’ll get to feel a different pain and that is the pain of being a failure.
You don’t get to choose when it hurts – that’s an illusion
Whenever you’re trying to make your pains disappear, you’re doing nothing more than just looking when they’re not. But you have limited places where you can look and eventually you’ll have to face your past fears again.
While ignoring your fears is bad, facing your fears can be bad too.
I don’t recommend you face your fears, at least not without professional help. It may be too hard and facing your fears may put too much pressure on you emotionally if you don’t know how to do it. If you want to face your fears, please try to approach a therapist before you do it.
Instead, try to acknowledge your fears.
Become conscious of their presence in your life and make sure you are conscious of them and you understand them. You don’t have to take any action for starters. Just don’t run away from them.
With love and optimism,
What did you learn?
What are some valuable things you learned about the illusion of control?
I would love to know what you think, so share your insights with me using the form below.