A path to happiness

Unless you're a Yogi, or you're smoking some righteous
shrub, chances are – you can't get quiet enough to get out of your own way in

As human beings, we're at the top of the brain chain. But
with great power comes an innate desire to control, well, everything. We buy
TiVo to skip the commercials. We plan our vacations years in advance. We use
fertilizer to have children. The list is endless. And it carries over into
business when we hire focus groups to tell us which messages might yield the
most favorable results. Or when we pore over which new hire will have the most
impact on our bottom line. Or when determining which kinds of clientele will
best sustain our growth plans.

Attempts at control are a natural occurrence for human
beings. And it's perfectly fine. That is, until it gets the best of you. 

I am lucky enough to have had multiple personal reference points to know damn well that we don't control as much as we like to think we do. I
sometimes joke that I don't even control what I'm having for dinner, much less
where I'll be in 5 years. 

This is not to say that we shouldn't set and pursue
goals. On the contrary, goals are absolutely essential for any kind of success
in life. When you have realistic goals and take the steps necessary to reach
them – then at some point you must let go and let things play out. The trick is
to know that some goals aren’t meant to be reached. When this happens, it’s time
to reassess – not force things.

Here's what I've learned – there's strength, peace and
happiness in letting go and letting things take their course. In getting quiet
and getting out of my own way. In accepting that there’s a universal truth at
play that makes order out of all the chaos.

Be honest with yourself and others, do the best you can
and then get the hell out of the way. Amazingly, the cards always fall the way
they're supposed to. Even when it ‘appears’ they don’t – they still do. Like it
or not.

So how do you deal with trying to control things in your
life? We're curious to know. 

Jim is a father, husband, copywriter and founder of smashcommunications.com. You can find him on Twitter @smashadv

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Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.