Things aren’t under your control and it’s fine.
I was very unhappy during my adolescence for one reason. I felt like I couldn’t control anything in my life. Hence, I had high hopes from college. I wanted to rebel. Do everything my way. I was looking at taking extreme control of my life. I wanted to call the shots. I wanted to control my environment in its entirety.
That obviously didn’t happen because life is a fine mess where you can’t even get your size in a t-shirt you like, let alone your dream routine or your dream life. So, the biggest unlearning was — you can’t control shit.
Your environment is a product of a billion different decisions that change in a dynamic manner. One moment you’re traveling to the hills and the next you’re stuck in your home for the next year because China is evil and COVID is deadly.
All you can control, if you’re lucky, is how you react. Your brain’s feedback loops run on autopilot and leveraging neuro plasticity is a long, hard game of training yourself like a dog being taught to salivate at the ring of a bell.
You’ve got to be your own Pavlov. Your habits — good or bad — are built from your surroundings and complex reward systems. All you can control, is your own mind. You can choose to have a clear goal and then consume information accordingly.
You can never change something its entirety, especially not right away. All you can do is put in your 0.1% that compounds over days and weeks and months to see some distinguishable change.
Working hard is a process of learning to make task lists, being gentle with yourself, trying to focus, putting your phone away, setting up macros to streamline things, and establish clear cut-off times.
And about a 10000 different things.
Your life, much like Rome, isn’t built in a day. It’s a glorious summation of your past. Just like your future is going to be a glorious summation of who you are today, and what you choose to do in the coming months.
The antidote to unhappiness and lack of control is not radical shifts. On the other hand, the solution is miniscule, everyday things in form of acceptance and improvement. While I don’t crave for control as much anymore, I do crave for introspection, acceptance, and small, doable things I can revel in. I hope it does the job.