Michael in Growth 10 minutes

Releasing Control

“Thank God we’re in marriage counseling so my wife can finally get her crap together.”

A thought that most people have when they enter the marriage counselor’s office. I came into the office that day of Les Carter, with my wonderful wife, ready for some change. I had a list of things. She was this. She was that. Why can’t she just…?

As we started I heard a similar tone from my wife. She had a similar list, where only the subject had changed. He is this. He is that. Why can’t he just…?

“OK, OK,” I thought. “I can play this game. So the one with the highest score at the end wins. I will definitely have a higher score at the end of this one, honey, don’t you worry.”

But Les wasn’t playing that game. Les gave us a nugget of wisdom that is now a mantra for us:

The more you try to control, the less you are in control. The less you try to control, the more you are in control

Les was touching on a key element of success: it’s not about creating the perfect level of control so you can have everything your way. It’s about serving, helping, and loving others. It’s about making others around you successful. Somehow when this happens, you end up having more success and control than ever. But it’s never about the control itself.

This can be applied in many ways:

When you want You must
a good marriage Chill out and let your spouse have some space
To be a good parent Give them freedom to be themselves, which does include structure, but also includes having their own personalities and interests
A project at work to succeed Enable those around you to be the best they can be and believe in them as you let them work
Financial security Accept that there will be ups and downs and you won't know when those will be, so it's best to be a long-term investor who doesn't bail whenever the market is in trouble

When has giving up control given you more control in your life?