The illusion of control

We like to think we are in control of our lives but how much control do we really have? While there are many things we do have a choice and control over, there are also times and situations when we don’t get the “change ahead” warning.  For example, when we are afflicted with sudden ill-health or job loss or when a business partner lets you down in a totally unexpected way.

Nature, when she unleashes her fury, also has a powerful way of reminding us just how little control we have.   First the devastation in Christchurch and now Japan.  For those directly hit by it, the sense of pain, loss, grief, anxiety and fear must be indescribable. 

We are told “worrying” about things that we cannot control causes stress.
  And yet with nature’s challenge, it’s only human and natural that one gets the tremors with each aftershock, wondering about what else might happen.

Things can happen to anyone of us at anytime, anywhere.  And they do.  In a matter of minutes –our jobs and business life  can also be turned upside down with a consequent loss of income and earnings.

When the unexpected happens, there is always a domino effect.  We get hit with stuff from left field. And no matter how much (or little) planning we have done, we still go through the natural human emotions of grief and loss – shock, anger, denial, what if’s, why me, why now, if only, tears, anxiety and depression – as we make sense of the changed reality.

How have these events touched you and your thinking about life?  One thing it has made me more conscious of is to appreciate how short life is and the things I don’t have control over. I am much more mindful of being truly present to my loved ones with as open a heart as I can.   I see the circumstances – both pleasant and challenging –  as all part of the life journey and am learning to embrace it more with loving kindness…. a growth inducing challenge in itself!

How about you? How are you going?

Jasbindar Singh is a business psychologist, leadership coach, author and speaker.

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