- Thoughts for inspired living

Noticing There Is No Control Is The Only Control You Have - Grasshopper

It seems we all want to be in control; yet we are thwarted at every turn. Control, as we know it, is fleeting.

Ask any sailor if they "control" the wind. The wind does what it wants regardless of what we want. The savvy sailor uses the wind to his best advantage by noticing its direction and adjusting.
I don't think too many people have played the control game out to its natural conclusion - boredom.
Pretend for a second that you could have control over everything you wanted control over. Reality would leave your life and you would live the life of a machine. You would do the exact same thing all the time until your machine broke down for the final time. Reminds me of a story I wrote about before . . .
I had a boyhood friend who had a pinball machine in his basement. We loved playing the machine and competing with each other to see who could get the highest score. Then one day we got the bright idea to dismantle the tilt function. (For those not familiar with "Tilt," when you shake a pinball machine too much, it short circuits your game and you lose).
With tilt dismantled, we could do anything we wanted to do including turning the pinball machine on its side. It was a short-lived experiment because no one liked removing chance from the competition. The ultimate control we had soon led to boredom and we reinstituted tilt back into the game.
Control is a game we fantasize about but the reality is, if we ever got it, we would soon become tired of it.
The good news is you'll never get tired of control, because you'll never get it for more than a passing moment. The cruel hoax is that we think we can bottle that moment in a jar and have control all the time. It's a game we all play.
The way I see it, the only real control we have is noticing that we don't have any.
Having this realization saves a lot of time and misery. Trying to control something always has an unfulfilling outcome. Did you ever notice that people attempting to control their weight are on a diet? You'll also notice, from your own experience, that a diet is a temporary control between fat periods.
It's better to notice what you eat while you are eating it. It's the concept of my "99 Cent Diet." Buy a 99 cent notebook and record everything you eat or drink for 7 days, right after you eat or drink it - not a half hour later from memory.
Just by noticing what you eat or drink, causes you to eat or drink less without attempting to control consumption. It's focusing your awareness on what you consume - something that is rarely done. Training yourself to do this regularly will automatically cause you to lose weight without counting calories or weighing your portions (control mechanisms).
When you attempt to control, you cramp your creativity. When a stimulus comes along, train yourself to notice your regular reaction. It's the same reaction every time - the attempt to control the stimulus. There is nothing creative about using the same strategy that doesn't work over and over again.
Noticing that you can't control the stimulus releases your creativity to come up with a response rather than a reaction to reality. You take control completely out of the game and feel the aliveness that is contained in creativity.
Noticing that life has a tilt function will have you play the game more creatively.
All the best,

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