January 5, 2011

You Are Never in Control

 Day 5: 22.3 miles/1:21

“Two things I learned the hard way last year — I don’t have all the answers and I am not in control.  I wiah the forces that are in control would share some of their answers with me.”

None of us are ever in control.  We can lead, guide, influence, and direct.  But, we are not really in control.  There are only two things in life we can control—our attitude and our effort.  The rest is out of our control.  That is one of the lessons I have learned the hard way, several times. 

When you combine a forceful, positive determination (attitude) with an unrelenting commitment to accomplishment (effort) you can influence outcomes; but you cannot control them.  The only things that are truly in your control are your attitude and your effort.  You cannot make people embrace your goal.  You cannot make others work as hard as you.  You cannot make a team work together.  All you can control is your abilities to share, inspire, lead, and demonstrate your commitment to a desired outcome.  You can coach and influence along the way.  But, you will never be able to control an outcome that involves others.  You will only be able to influence its outcome by your attitude and your effort.  Bottom line — I am not in control.  And, I don’t have all the answers. 


There is a freedom that comes with surrendering control.  The harder you grip the steering wheel, the harder it is to drive.  When I recognize that I cannot control the outcome or make things happen without the vision and commitment of others, I am actually giving them power to take action.  Letting go is a natural way to allow the events to unfold as they are meant to.  Attempting to take control is actually interfering with the natural order of the events, beliefs, visions, goals, and commitments of others.  By surrendering ultimate control to Brandon, it has to be his vision; I am giving him the power to make his decisions.  All I can do is trust and believe that my commitment, my values, and my teaching will inspire him to see the opportunity in great decisions and positive actions. 


It does not matter whether it is an addict, an employee, a team, or an organization–until they share in and have the same vision and commitment you do, they will not engage in the activity the same way.  And there is nothing that can be done to have enough control to make them do otherwise.  All that is available is the attitude and the effort necessary to do what is within the power of you to make something happen.  Unless you are the only person involved, you cannot control the outcome.


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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.