There are many people in our lives that we respect and look up to. We call these people our inspirations, role models, and more.
For me, I’ve always put down my father as my aspiring figure.
But if I’m being honest here, there’s not really one person who inspires me to do what I do.
There used to be one other person in my life whom I looked up to and that relationship soured quite quickly.
It was for the silliest of reasons, my friend wanted me to move in with him and I turned it down. But I remember some of the shit that he said to me and one I still recall.
“You let people control your life. You haven’t changed at all.”
This was said to me after I’ve been away for 9 months, travelling across Canada and living with 10 people I never met before.
Why this is important in our lives is that in order to live an intentional life that you own completely, you need to have control over your life. Back then, I was in control and I still am now.
It all comes down to the certain steps that I’ve taken to ensure that. These are things I had for a while or that I have developed over the years that I believe lead to more control of our lives and our surroundings.
Realize You Aren’t Your Role Models (Nor Do You Truly Want To Be Them)
The first big thing is our role models in our lives. For me, I’ve had a tough time finding role models. No one really influences my actions or propels me forward. Like the Joker said:
“I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it! I just do things.”
The closest thing I have to one is my father and one thing I realize is that I am not my father. I’m not even remotely interested in following in his footsteps.
For myself I had to let go of the people around me that I aspire to become. The reason that is is because the guy I aspire to become is myself 5 years from now.
Technically speaking that is your role model, but you don’t quite know how he’ll turn out to be. Who I was five years ago wasn’t the man I am today. I was happy and thinking I’d be an accountant.
That’s not happening.
Now I know that we won’t be exactly our role models that we aspire to become, that’s a given. However I also believe that they shouldn’t influence our actions.
We shouldn’t be asking “what would my role model do in this situation?”
Instead we should be asking “what should I be doing to deal with this situation?”
It’s obvious we aren’t our role models, and yet we still use them and that can pose as a threat. Partially because our role models aren’t going through the same things we are. As such, their actions might not be the most applicable in our situations.
Believe More In Yourself Than Others
We put a lot of our power and authority into people that we trust. From our role models to influencers, we believe in them. But those who have complete control over their lives believe even beyond your faith in them.
That isn’t to say your belief in them is undervalued, but that their actions are based heavily on what they want to do rather than what you want them to do.
To live your life completely in your control, you need to make up your mind yourself and come to your own conclusions. That doesn’t mean your followers have little influence, after all if you operate a business, your customers do play a factor. But it’s not as big of a factor as a lot of people think.
A customer base or a follower base is good as a reference point to test things. It is the basis of feeling out peoples thoughts on something in particular. It shouldn’t be the people dictating every action of the individual.
Instead, take the time to own your actions and believe in yourself despite what other people say. Some of the most successful people have succeeded against all odds and have rose up to the top thanks to their unshakable belief in themselves.
So give yourself some credit.
And despite what others say — even if they are right — remember you can always prove them wrong later.
Own Your Successes And Mistakes
The last one I suggest we take in to be in control of our lives is to own our successes but also our mistakes. Our successes are easy as people talk about their awards and achievements. We use them as reasons to validate our influence and the work that we do.
But not as many want to own the mistakes that we make. From the decisions that we have made in our lives to the slip ups, these things can keep us anchored.
For one, if we refuse to learn our lesson they can come back in our lives later.
There is also the fact that other people can remind us of our past mistakes. Whether it’s through a comment or even a visual cue.
That trauma can be difficult to handle, but it should be handled at some point in time if we are to grow past that. If we don’t own our mistakes we can’t accept them. And whether we like it or not, our mistakes are part of ourselves.
Only when we can own our mistakes can be take steps to actively change them. We can do this by changing our habits or finding more lessons in our mistakes.
Complete control of our lives is necessary for a variety of reasons, but certain steps must be taken.
- First we have to let go of our role models. Our role model is our ever-changing self in the future if necessary.
- Second, we need to believe in ourselves beyond the belief of our fans, customers, and the people around us.
- Finally, we need to accept our mistakes and realize that they were crucial so that we can enjoy our achievements.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon