Do We Really Have Control Over Our Life Experiences?

Objective or subjective, your life experiences are your experiences. When such and such happens, we immediately feel a certain way. Research shows that while most outcomes are outside our control, our experience from these outcomes is ultimately felt within, and we must adapt to it internally.

Most people with a long string of bad experiences might feel like life is out of control, out of their hands. It might feel like things are happening every day that you don’t want or expect, and that can leave you with enormous anxiety.

However, while most experiences (external things, other people, or your office space) and your reaction to them is out of your control, not every experience is out of your control.

Indeed, life isn’t predictable, and we often aren’t sure of what will happen next.

However, dwelling on this would leave us feeling powerless in our life and make us fight for control over external things.

This, however, is a misdirected coping mechanism to feel like we have some sort of control. This is because there is often a disconnect, a misunderstanding of the experiences we can control and what is beyond our control.

Or what behaviors and actions we are in control of that can produce the outcome we desire.

This is a delicate balance, and many people wrongly advise that we “let go” of trying to control everything if we ever want to be happy.

They constantly might remind you that life is a roller coaster, and you should sit and enjoy the ride, accepting that we cannot control our experiences.

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And while that advice is in the right ballpark, it misses the mark in one fundamental way. The truth is humans genuinely do need to feel like they have some level of control in their lives to feel happy. And psychologists have known this for over 50 years.

While most people believe that our experiences are better controlled when we have money, this is ultimately false.

Objectively, money really cannot control our experiences either.

Say, in the event of a fierce storm, a guy in a stone mansion would be better protected while the one in a mobile home will be blown away.

While the man in the mansion is well protected, he isn’t wholly unaffected by the storm. He is merely adapting.

Ultimately, money can isolate us from certain negative experiences, and this might seem like control, but in truth, one is still managing.

There’s an idea that all present thinkers and great historical philosophers agree to be a universal truth.

This idea spins around this single concept: “You are what you think.”

James Allen, the English philosopher, said, “As a man thinks, so he is; as he continues to think, so he remains.”

Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor, also said. “A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it.”

These are just two of the thousands of great minds who discovered the secret of regaining control over our experiences and living a purposeful, productive, and happy life.

The secret is that we live in a world of thought.

While some life occurrences might be beyond our control, our experiences are created by our thoughts, and we experience what we think.

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When we are uncomfortable in a place, we seek to change position and move to a more comfortable spot. If we feel unhappy with our life’s experiences, we should seek change that helps us control these experiences.

Endnote

If you desire to control your everyday experiences, you must first work on your thoughts. You must first change how you think because your thoughts play a massive influence on how you feel.

How you react is dependent on how you feel, which directly influences how you behave and define your life experiences.

Everything begins with your thoughts – You are what you think.

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