Saturday, June 11, 2011

Get Control of Your Life

Do you ever feel that your life has gotten out of control? Are things happening to you that you have no control over? Things happen and you say, "Where did that come from? I've got enough going on right now!"

I have written several times in my blog about Nasrudin. Nasrudin is a character in many tales and parables. He lived in the Middle East many hundreds of years ago. Here is another story about Nasrudin.

One day, Nasrudin was riding his donkey through town. Something frightened the donkey and it bolted. The donkey started running down the street as fast as it could.

Some of his countrymen watched with amusement. They called out to him, “Nasrudin, where are you going in such a hurry?”

Nasrudin shouted back to them, "Don't ask me, ask my donkey!"
Is a donkey running your life? Has it seemed like things were flying past and you were being carried along with the current? Or in Nasrudin’s case, carried along with the donkey.

Sometimes, things just happen for no reason. We need to deal with that as it happens. However, other times things happen because our lives have gotten out of balance. We may be trying to do too much. We may be trying to do the wrong things. We need to regain that control.

The first step in regaining control of your life is to step back and look at where your life has gotten out of balance. It all starts with taking time for reflection. Stop and think about what is really important. Make up a list of the top five or ten things that are important to you. Don't list things that you think other people think is important. What is important to you is certainly different that what is important to other people.

Take some time and talk about this list with the people who are important to you. Think about it for a few days. Make sure the list truly reflects your priorities. Then keep track of how you spend your time for a few weeks.

Compare your priority list with your log of how you spend your time. Do they match? If you are feeling that your life is spinning out of control, I would bet that your time is being spent on things that are not important to you.

Now it’s time to take action. What are you going to do about all the time wasters in your life? How important is Facebook? If your goal is to build a business, then Facebook may be an important way to reach customers. If not, perhaps it's not too important.

Is your life better because you know all the names of the contestants on that TV show? If your goal is to be a television writer, then watching TV may be an important way to learn how to write. If not, perhaps it's a waste of your time.

What are you going to do to learn how to spend your time on the important things in your life? This is your chance to differentiate between what you want and what other people want of you. Time is your only asset in your quest for meaning in your life. The parasites in your life will use up all your time if you let it happen. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do a favor for a friend, but the choice must be yours. Don’t do it because it is “expected” of you.

Be prepared for a long journey. It may take years of hard work to accomplish some of your goals. You may need to delay doing some things to give yourself time to finish other things. Remember this if nothing else: You are responsible for your own life.

Opportunity often shows up at your door dressed in work clothes. -Thomas Edison

© 2011 Eric Borreson

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