Letting go of control can be one of the secrets to a happy life. However, it doesn’t mean that you let go of control in everything you do. It means letting go of the need for a specific outcome in whatever you are trying to achieve.
Think about this: How often do you feel frustrated when things don’t go how you want them to?
Maybe you had plans to go out with your friends, but the meeting gets canceled at the last minute. You are traveling but your flight is delayed. You get the wrong order at a restaurant. Are you frustrated when these things happen?
That’s because we habitually link our happiness to the outcomes we expect. If everything works out perfectly just as expected, then we are happy. But if something goes against our expectations, we are not happy.
Doesn’t this quite dramatically narrow down your chances to be happy?
To free yourself from expectations and unlock your happiness, change your point of view on life. Understand that change is the only constant in the universe. Everything changes all the time.
Things may seem similar but they are never the same. Seasons change, people change, you change, and life changes. So why would you want to be happy only when things go just as you planned?
Letting go of control can be a powerful catalyst for happiness. Life is a journey, not a destination—the fun is in the process, the creation. Don’t attach to results, and learn to enjoy the process.
I know you’ve heard this a thousand times, but how can you apply this knowledge to your daily life? Here are some tips for letting go of control that you can try.
1. Drop your ego and embrace your feelings
It is your rational mind, your ego, that has wants and needs. Your ego does everything in its power to ensure the survival of your body; that’s why it is understandably so concerned with the possible results.
Letting go of control means turning off your rational mind and doing what feels right instead. Learn to listen to your feelings and act based on how you feel.
You don’t need to let your ego dictate what you should and shouldn’t do. I’m not saying you should start trying out possibly life-threatening activities, but listen to your feelings more and let them guide you to fun activities where the outcome may not be pre-determined.
2. Play with life
Here’s a simple tip: have fun!
This ties in with the previous point: learn to do what feels like fun and forget about what you might think of it. Better yet, ignore what others may think of your newfound joys. Just do what feels right.
Playing is one of the purest forms of enjoying the process while detaching from results. When you are playful, you enjoy what you are doing at the moment, immersing yourself in the joy it brings you, and not concerned with what comes after.
When you remember how to have fun and play with life (you know but you might have forgotten), you open the door for the universe, the source, God, whatever you wish to call it, to guide you on your way.
Then the results—that you once were obsessed with and are now willing to let go of—will be far more amazing than you ever thought possible.
3. Focus on the creation process
The highest truth about life is that it’s all about creation. Everything is constantly created anew and nothing stays the same.
The source, God, the universe, whatever your name is for it, constantly creates all of life, and you create your life.
Therefore, the greatest joy is found in the process of creation and not in the result. Letting go of control is Godliness, living the way the universe intended.
Focus on the creation. Visualize your ideal outcome, but don’t insist upon it.
4. Free yourself from wants, needs, and fear
To free yourself from control and expectations, replace your wants and needs with preferences.
Adjust the thoughts you think and the things you say accordingly. Instead of the words want and need, use the words choose and prefer.
Don’t think “I need this specific outcome.” Say “I prefer this outcome” or “I choose this outcome, but I don’t need it.”
Living your life without expectation, without the need to control results, is the greatest form of freedom. It will set you free from the fear that without a certain result you won’t be happy. And being free from this fear, you will find yourself feeling happy more often.
Start playing with life and enjoy the journey. Have fun while working towards your goals and trust that everything will work out for you.
The reward of letting go of control is that it allows other outcomes to manifest in your life. Outcomes that you were not even aware of—some even better than what you originally had in mind.