In Brian Tracy’s book Maximum Achievement, he teaches the importance of the law of control which we’ll see involves both the internal locus of control and the external locus of control.
The law of control states “You feel happy to the degree to which you feel you are in control of your own life. You feel unhappy to the degree to which you feel you are not in control, or controlled by other factors or people”
People smarter than myself call this your locus of control. These smart people that write even smarter books all conclude that stress and unhappiness arise when you feel controlled by outside circumstances (external locus of control).
If you have an internal locus of control and you’re more likely to be happy. If you have an external locus of control, you’re more than likely unhappy.
When you feel in charge and you’re making your own decisions and what happens to you in life is largely determined by you going out an getting it done, then that’s an internal locus of control. You feel strong, purposeful, and happy.
When you’re not in control and are not directing your own life, you have an external locus of control.
To be in hell is to drift; to be in heaven is to steer!
If you have a creep of a boss, but you cannot afford to lose your job because you have no savings and 4 mouths to feed, you experience high levels of stress and anxiety as you suck it up on a daily basis and take crap from this external locus of control. Things suck and you’re unhappy.
More examples are bad marriages you feel trapped in. Bills you struggle to pay and being stuck in traffic.
You may feel that you are controlled by your physical condition, if that’s the case check out my book Body Of A Soldier and get that sorted out. That’s an easy one. A quick fix that will get you some momentum.
Own It To Control It
Many people feel that they are controlled by their “personality type” (I have a bad temper because I’m Viking/Native) or the world situation itself. They say, “That’s just the way I am.” or “That’s just the way it IS.” By saying this, they opt out, turtle up and hope for the best. Good luck with that.
The “That’s just the way..” way of thinking excuses them from developing and using discipline and will power to make the changes they know they need to make live the life that will make them happy.
It can be hard… it probably WILL be hard work your way into the spot where you own a larger share of control in your life. That’s why so many people are unhappy. It takes work.
You have to own it and take complete charge of your life to make it happen. Every decision you made put you where you are and every decision you make can change your future. If there is some area in your life in which you are not happy, discipline yourself to do whatever it takes to change the situation.
For more help with discipline check out this post: The power of self-discipline.