Self-Control vs Self-Management

One of the great issues I hear when I listen to people in their attempt to get on with their lives is this business of self control.

It is touted in every sector of our society. In order to be truly successful and healthy, one needs to have good self control. They say “People who commit wrong are out of control.”

In my most humble opinion, the ones that are out of control are the people who insist on trying to make us believe that such a possibility as control even exists.

Or rather, in truth, we are all out of control because it is not a possibility. We cannot even control aircraft as they fly across our skies. What makes us think we can control ourselves?

Ask any pilot. Most of the time in the air, they are adjusting the direction of the craft.

This is not to say that we can live our lives with no measure of structure. We cannot live without rules and boundaries or the result would be absolute chaos.

The issue for me is about the concept of control. Maybe I am a little anal on the definition but I perceive control as being inflexible and very defined.

For example, the government passed a law saying that we shall not cross streets in the middle of the block. This rule is an attempt to control the masses for our individual safety and so they don’t have extra messes to clean up. The intention of this “control” is to keep us safe. But do we jaywalk? Of course we do!

We will not be controlled! That is our adage! Nobody is going to tell us what to do!

The same is true in any of the events of our lives. We live a path that has developed from the process of living our history.

The manner that has developed from the expression of this story is the habitual manner in which we live. This expression will always pop into your life and illustrate “how you live” automatically according to how you learned it until you learn how to change it.

Don’t we always try to make life the way we knew it as a kid? Isn’t that what brings us the most comfort?

The automatic expression of our habits is the closest we ever get to self control. I would dare say that is not necessarily a good thing!

Self management, on the other hand, is flexible. It leaves room for conscious choice. It allows for error and for success.

Has there ever been a time in your life when you had absolute control?

How about absolute management?

Of course, we always have choices. In good self management we have the ability and freedom to have a look at any situation and decide for ourselves how we will proceed forward. This does not necessarily indicate that we will choose the right or best choice for us, however, it does imply that, at any time we have choice. Managing our choices is what gives us flexibility, comfort and growth.

I consider the implication of control to mean that we are overpowered by the situation or external forces and that we have no choice.

Self management, on the other hand, means we have all choice.

If we are to live as truly realized and actualized individuals, it is imperative that we each need to accept that we always have choice and that it is our responsibility to make those choices, whether we wish to or not. This is the basis of self management!

So, if we choose to jaywalk, we have the ability to manage the situation at any time.

We can

  • Successfully make it across the street by vigilantly monitoring the situation as it develops.
  • We can start across and choose to return to the start because we realize it is unsafe for us to cross there at that time or;
  • We can start across and let ourselves get run over.

All of these are choices. All of these and more are available at any time. All of these have outcomes.

None of these actions imply anything to do with control, especially on behalf of the government!

In order to truly live a fully empowered life, I believe we each need to be conscious enough in our own way to hold our own personal power, as we were designed to do; thereby discarding any notions that anyone or anything has any power over us unless we choose to let it.

If you want to understand more about learning how to be a good self manager, please check out my books “Embracing The Blend” and “Stamp out Stress”. They are available through this website

Wishing you all the best.