The happiest people I’ve known or seen have been those who took control of their life. They were either born into a family that valued that way of doing things, or they got tired of how life was treating them and decided to take control for themselves. However it happened, it has always ended positively.
One thing that makes these people happy is the paradigm shift from ‘things you have to do’ to ‘things you choose to do’. Joe Rogan, a famous comedian and TV show host, doesn’t have to make a podcast every day. He could easily stop, or drop his production down to once a week, and his fandom would not disappear. His life would not change much at all if he completely stopped doing what he is doing and changed paths. He chooses to do a podcast each and every day though. He’s almost got a thousand up.
There was a time, however, when he had to do things. He had to take a TV or promotional contract, or he’d lose his house.
Most of us are at that point right now. We’re in debt up to our eyeballs, and working just to stay afloat. It’s funny, though, to see that there are people making minimum wage to support their family in the same exact boat as doctors who can’t stop spending money. It’s a distinct lack of control.
Believe it or not, there are people out there making minimum wage who have their lives in order. They choose a simple, no-hassle job and a simple life. They are happy, and in control. I’ve known quite a few. Those who are unhappy and out of control have bought an Escalade when they make less than 2000 a month. The bank who owns the truck is in control.
My wife and I have two vehicles. One is this beat up old Pontiac that is practically falling apart. It has great A/C and comfortable seats, but looks like it got chewed up and spit out. The other is a pretty Volvo with leather seats and a sunroof with okay A/C that was given to us. My wife will drive the Pontiac instead of the Volvo. To her, the Pontiac represents our ability to control our lives. It is something we bought and have paid off. The Pontiac, warts and all, gives her pride. The Volvo, no matter how pretty it is, feels like dead weight to her.
Controlling our lives is not always pretty. It always starts with working harder than those who are not in control. It always starts with risk, fear, hardship and the unknown. Eventually, though, the path we create straightens out. It aligns with us, and points where we want it to.
Are you in control? Are you honing your life to the fine point it needs to be for you?