Using Control: How Much Is Too Much?

Using Control in Healthy Ways

“SERENITY NOW!”  That has to be one of the funniest lines from a Seinfeld episode ever aired. Perhaps it’s so funny because ‘commanding’ it to occur typically has the opposite outcome. Most of us find ourselves searching for some serenity while at the same time trying to maintain control over our daily lives. Why can serenity feel so elusive? How big of a part does your need for control play? They seem to be related. How much control is too much? Look again to your inner design (your InnerKinetics) for some answers on using control in a healthy way.


Using Control and Serenity – What Do They Have in Common?

You can’t have one without the other. Think about it. To find serenity, you’ll need to exercise control over your own emotions. You’ll also need to avoid over controlling people (#controlfreak) if you want peaceful relationships. Managing important priorities will demand you keep your hands on the proverbial wheel and avoid being out of control.

You’ll need both serenity and control to survive a life full of competing priorities. It’s no wonder the Serenity Prayer has become so important to many successful people! Do you know it?

Thankfully, our inner design also leads us to some important guidance.

When I say, “Keep your hands on the wheel,” do you picture a steering wheel? Perhaps a potter’s wheel gives you a better mental picture? Neither wheel is better than the other.  But each one depicts two distinctly different ways of using control in our lives.


Your Inner Design Reveals the Healthy Use of Control

We previously looked at how your lifestyle preference relates to your view of time. And, whether or not you view time as a friend or foe.

Your preference for a more hurried lifestyle versus a more relaxed lifestyle also reveals how much control you’ll need to exercise in your daily life. Once you learn your InnerKinetics, you’ll understand more about your need for control.

Start here, and then keep reading: 

Now that you know your preferences, did you learn that your preferences include a “J”, meaning you have a  stronger sense of urgency and need for closure?  Or are you a “P” — with a more relaxed attitude about time and a preference to keep your options open?

J types have their hands on the steering wheel at 10 and 2.

As a “J,” you prefer to exert your will on life when it’s within your control to do so. It’s a good thing. It’s your desire for control that results in timely closure and critical progress.

Yes, you can tend to OVER do it! And it’s the use of intelligent emotions (i.e., emotional control) and a healthy self-image that will help you avoid the flood of anxiety that comes from unsuccessful attempts to control things that were not yours to control. But don’t take your hands off the wheel either! Not choosing to follow your natural need for control can create wreckless, irresponsible behavior and even more stress.


P types use a lighter touch, like what you need on a potter’s wheel.

They prefer to experience life as it is coming to them. It affords them the options on how they will both shape and be molded by their experiences.

And yes, you too can OVER do it! If you are too busy experiencing every moment or avoiding hard decisions, you can miss your opportunity. Just like those with a “J” lifestyle, you will also need to know how to use intelligent emotions and your healthy self-image. Be ready. Act when it’s time. Use your kind of control to act on what you believe is the appropriate decision for the circumstances.


Critical Thinking for Successful People

Regardless of your preference for a steering wheel or a potter’s wheel, using control the right way is key to your success. A little peace and serenity never hurt anyone either.

Just to review, here are some critical thoughts I invite you to consider:

  1. How do you avoid burnout in your fast-forward life?
  2. How does your relationship with time affect your “people skills”?
  3. How much control is just enough to avoid chaos but also find some serenity? Unlock some answers through some continued education on your inner design:

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