The Ultimate Solution Article originally from January 19th, 2018 FPC Newsletter
Written by Dr. Charles Webb
Ultimate Solution to Always Being in Control
One of life’s biggest challenges seems to be the struggle to remain in control. No one enjoys the stressful feelings that accompany the loss of control. Anxiety, stress, and often depression are emotions that weigh upon us in a very negative manner and eventually can lead to a vicious cycle if not controlled. But isn’t this cycle what continues to initiate this reptilian response, the flight or fight? We begin to believe that our circumstances are somehow related to events that we really have no control over. If we conclude that this is true, which this may be, we have two options.
- If this is true and particular events occurred that had a direct or indirect effect on my business, my marriage, my health, then I can choose to simply be identified as the victim and write my new circumstances off as “not my fault”. While this is an option, it leaves you as the victim, and as a victim, you will experience emotions of pain to include, fear, anxiety, anger, and depression.
- You can conclude that we all have daily challenges and particular events are going to happen that are out of our control. No one is immune to this. It is never the event that leads us into this dark place, but is our thought about the event. If we see the event as only a terrible, destructive thing that offers no lessons in life, then we will suffer. However, if we recognize there is a lesson to be learned and the potential for good to come from this, we gain back our control and hold on to our sanity.
In reality, the majority of the challenges you face are ultimately due to consequences from past actions or the lack of action all together. I’ve often spoke on “Pilot Error” to demonstrate this fact. Let me explain. I have several friends that earned their pilot license and over the last few years inspired me to earn mine. As I was going through my training, my instructor continuously would remind me of the responsibilities of taking ownership as the pilot. “Charlie, no matter what happens up there, whether it be bad weather, faulty instruments, mechanical issues or whatever, it is your fault that you find yourself in this situation. Planes crash due to pilot error…end of story.”
He was trying to keep me alive by making it clear that it is my responsibility to take extreme ownership of my abilities and responsibilities as a pilot. Circumstances that seemed to occur beyond my control were actually due to my lack of extreme ownership. If I got caught in a storm, that is my fault for not checking the weather and avoiding it. No matter what challenge I might face in the air, there was a probable mistake the brought that challenge on. As a pilot you simply cannot look at this any other way. You don’t have the luxury to write it off a, “Not my fault”, as you don’t get a second chance.
Begin to start running your life the same way. Know that most of your challenges could have been prevented and those that could not, accept these as part of life. Take extreme ownership and recognize pilot error. Look at every challenge as an opportunity to become a better leader. You are always in control of the current situation you face right now! It’s not the situation, but how you see it.