Controlling Oneself in a World That Rewards the Opposite

Alright, welcome back, today we’re looking at the control freak, specifically those who feel an obsessive need to exercise control over themselves. Now, a little self-control is good for you, but I can understand where taking it to obsessive lengths can cause problems for yourself and others.

First off, I want to make one thing clear, I’m going to stay away from the topic of controlling a situation through obsessive actions. Also known as obsessive compulsive spectrum disorders these actions stem from an imbalance in the brain. I’m not inclined to think of the control freak as a type of mental disorder, yet…

Now, as I said above, a little self-control is good for you. Self-control can help you stick to your gym routine, your diet or other health plan, or even help you to get to work on time. All these things can help you out in the long run and help you towards your final goals. It’s when you let your obsession for self-control run your life that shit gets out of control.

Universe Shit (2)

Now, the normal person can see the shit the universe is throwing at him and decide to roll with it. As you can see above the universe doesn’t like to play nice and doesn’t give a damn about your need for control. The control freak, as described above, will take the shit from the universe and try to deflect it by controlling themselves, often to the detriment to others. An example would be an employee leaving for the gym in the middle of an important project just because that is the time they always go to the gym. They are exerting self-control, but at an obsessive level.

Here we have a lesson that expands on our topics from last week. You’ve found your need for control and you’re starting to exercise it, only to run into a situation where exercising control could cause an issue. Taking control doesn’t mean that you neglect the rights and feelings of those around you just so that you can do what you want. There will be times when you need to concede control so that you’re not viewed as hardheaded or difficult. This is especially important when you are first starting out and your friends and family are not used to you exerting control.

We’ve now established that the universe isn’t too keen on your attempts to control yourself and your surroundings, so what can you do? The first thing is to ignore the memes and viral videos on the internet. We’ve grown into a culture that rewards idiots and those who can scream the loudest on YouTube. Getting upvotes and likes for acting the fool might get you a couple followers, but ultimately there are thousands upon thousands of other people trying to do the same thing. You’ve become nothing more than another face in a sea of faces.

Perhaps even more disturbing, we’ve become a culture that can pass judgement instantaneously regardless of the unseen circumstances leading up to a video clip or quote that becomes nothing more than a sound bite. Companies are being brought down and people are being hunted for a moment in indiscretion that happened to be captured digitally. What can we do?

I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but here are a couple common sense items that come to mind.

The World is Listening, Mind What You Say – Never before have so many cameras been on us… Did you hear that Papa John had to step down due to a racial slur? He didn’t use it to describe anyone. He didn’t use it out of anger or as part of a tirade. He simply stated a well-known fact about Colonel Sanders and suffered a lapse in judgment in doing so. Oddly enough the statement was made during a discussion on how to prevent future PR disasters. Read Here

The World is Watching, Mind What You Do – Much the same as above, your actions can have dire consequences even when you keep your mouth shut! Check out this dumbass who got exactly what he deserved. Think before you act since there’s probably someone (or a security camera) nearby ready to catch you doing something stupid. He may have spent his weekend in jail, but now that the internet has this video I’m guessing his trouble is only just starting.

Be a Good Person – I know it’s a bit cliched, but all you really need to do is be a good person. You may have a maelstrom of emotions churning below the surface, but if you’re able to harness a bit of self-control, put on a smile and make it through your day without chewing someone up and spitting them out then you’re doing pretty good.

I want to wrap up this section by saying that obsessive self-control isn’t the way to go. It might start you out on the path towards your goals but will ultimately annoy everyone around you. A healthy amount of self-control and a willingness to allow the universe its way will help you get far in life. And for those moments where you’re pushed to your limit of control just remember, it’s harder to find forgiveness in a world where your blunder is never forgotten.

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