Sometimes, it seems life just tosses you around whichever way.
It seems as if you are just being swayed around by people, technology, social media and circumstances; without a control over anything. You just seem not to be able to get a hold on your life. And you are wondering: ‘how can I actually be in charge?’Here are 8 simple yet powerful ways to keep yourself more in control.
#1. Have personal values and principles
This is where it all starts.Values are standards of behaviour about what is important in life. Your values are the ways of living that you hold dearly and in high esteem. For instance, being honest could be a personal value.Principles on the other hand are things you do or do not do in life, as a personal rule. They are like laws or guiding statutes. Usually, your principles are based on your values.Without values and principles, you would yield to anything, anywhere, anyhow, anytime – and sometimes be shocked that you did.Today, many people believe that everyone has a price. But that’s until they meet someone who has financial integrity as a core value and principle.When the pressure is applied on you and you have to make tough decisions, your values and principles are what will guide you. Once you have them, they will make it easier to decide who to be with and what to do.So take some time to define yours and you’ll stay more in control.
#2. Have daily untouchables
Having a daily routine, helps bring order, direction and control to your life. You need to decide what things are important to you and your goals in life and try to do them each day without negotiation.Sometimes, there may be need to fix a time and duration to it.Good examples include your prayer time, devotional time and sleep time. Reading, studying, workouts, writing and many more can form part of your daily untouchables, depending on what you do and what you want to achieve.
#3. Learn to say no
Naturally, I find it easier to say yes. But I realised it was hurting me. Sometimes I’d take on too much which would later weigh me down, just because I couldn’t say no.Many times, I would say yes to a thing and then realise I shouldn’t have and begin to regret doing so. And because I had given out my word, I would go ahead and fulfil it.I found out that one of the ways to overcome this is to never respond to requests or make decisions instantly or hurriedly. Always ask for time to think it through before giving a feedback. Where that may not be possible, just take a few minutes to process it before responding.Always remember that No is also a response.And be hesitant to say yes, because it comes with responsibility.
#4. Harness the power of the closet
Today, we live in a world where there is so much noise and activity around and within us. There is so much distraction to contend with. But in the midst of all that, you need to make out time to withdraw and be alone. It is something every great and successful person has learnt to do.In spite of how much sought after Jesus was, he always made time to retreat and be alone.You need to be alone to pray, to plan, to meditate, to reflect, to think strategically, to ease your stress, to de-clutter your mind, and to refresh. You need to be alone!Sometimes you have to turn off your phones. Sometimes you have to ignore some calls. Sometimes you need to turn off notifications. Sometimes, you need to turn down some invitations. Sometimes you just need to do some things so you can draw from the power of the closet.
#5. Don’t worry, be happy
It has been said that worry is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere.That is a timeless truth.When worry comes, you are not in charge. You will only be wasting precious time going round in a circle. You need to learn to quit worrying and teach yourself instead to always be calm, happy and unfazed. There is nothing new under the sun. And there is no challenge that cannot be surmounted – or at least navigated.If you can’t do anything about it, why worry? If you can do something meaningful and positive about it, why worry? Just do it. Either way, worry solves nothing.
#6. Let things go quickly
Every now and then we experience different unpleasant things. We find ourselves in tight situations and uncomfortable circumstances at times. Sometimes we act or react badly. Sometimes you will be offended, at other times you will be the one who erred.Such unpalatable experiences can leave a hangover on your mind. If you don’t let them go quickly they could dampen your spirit, lower your morale, puncture your motivation and sabotage your productivity. And when any of these happens you seem to be out of sorts. It can even affect your worship and devotion.You need to learn to put things off immediately – no matter how bad. Your boss talks to you roughly in the office and you can’t take your mind off it for a whole day. That’s not good for you. The moment the incidence is concluded, switch your mind off it. Simply consider it as one of those things that happen in life, and move ahead.
#7. Always be true to yourself
Often times, people aren’t sincere with themselves. They tell themselves a lie and even go as far as living a lie. That never helped anyone. People who do so often make a mess of their lives.If you want to be deliberate about your life; if you want your life to count for something, you’ve got to learn to tell yourself the hard truth always. After doing that, don’t stop there; take the required action.
#8. Be loyal to God’s Word
The amount of timeless wisdom and applicable life principles embedded in the scriptures is unquantifiable.If you make up your mind to adhere to them, you will save yourself a lot of trouble. Choosing to be loyal to what God’s word says helps your decision-making to be easier and eases you of unnecessary stress. Being in charge often helps you to function better and make progress. That’s why it is something you must deliberately seek to achieve. So, don’t just take care; take charge!
By Ogaga Eruteya
Ogaga Eruteya is a Nigerian ordained pastor, poet, inspirational speaker and a scientist by profession. He was born and raised in Oyo – a historically significant Yoruba town – to Isoko parents. His name Ogaga Oghene means God’s power and he has been a true testament to this, having witnessed interventions that could only be divine on a number of dire occasions. He figured he needed to take writing seriously when he noticed that he had a plethora of scribbles and snippets all over his phones, notepads, and fragments of paper. He lives and serves God in Lagos. Read his amazing works here: www.faithandliving.com