A Case for Control

In our present world situation of unrest - economically, politically, morally and unprecedented destructive weather patterns - it seems that chaos has become the new normal. To avoid pandemonium in your life, consider the following suggestions for effective self-control.

Negative control focus: If you focus on what (or who) you cannot control, in reality, you put yourself out of control and into stress and chaos. People just will not listen and obey. They just will not mind us.

No one will change unless it is his idea including you). Turn the situation around. Accept what is and see how you can respond favorably and move forward. You do this by refusing to fight against things over which you have no control or to become obsessed by them. Allow your encounters with difficult people and hard circumstances to build gracious character qualities in you.

The discipline of self-control: You may not be able to keep a negative thought from ever entering your brain but you do have the power to control what you dwell on. You may not have absolute control over your emotions, but as you take effective control of how you respond, then the by-product is that your emotional reactions are within your control.

It is extremely important to know down deep in your knower that you can control what you think and how to act in response. And by default, you are getting effective control of your feelings. It is imperative to develop the discipline of taking responsibility for your thoughts, actions and feelings.

Control and choices: When things seem out of control it may be hard to remember that you always have choices. But you do. Always. You have the choice to stay or to go, to fight or to negotiate, to rage or to calm, to stress or to flow, to sass-back or to respond, to condemn or to accept, to belittle or to regard with esteem.

Clarification: acceptance does not mean surrender. Take time to consider your choices and do what is right.

Live in the present and make the most of life in every moment. Internal changes results in the ability to effectively influence changes in things outside your immediate control. Look for what is possible rather than stressing over that which cannot be changed. Evaluate what you can address and what is better left unmentioned. Assess your own economic situation and develop discipline. Grieve over losses and appreciate what you have left. Let the weather be the weather and adjust.


Peaceful Communication

We act on the way we think things are, not on the way they actually are. Use the following insights to improve your communication.

1.Discover the door-way to communication. Attitudes and behaviors create a doorway to you as well as away from you. If someone behaves according to assigned specifications, it equals an open door. If the person interacts (intentionally or unintentionally) against specifications, the door closes – partially, all the way or can be locked and bolted. Learn to recognize behavioral styles and adjust your style to permit open communication, win/win relationship building and lessening of tension.

2 Use your words. Words are powerful. Once spoken, they cannot be retrieved. Weigh them. Measure them. Gauge them. Use them in positive and creative ways. Do not shrug or give vague answers.

3. Information is power. Ask. Tell. Be truthful. Do not exaggerate. Eliminate “always” and “never”.

4. Determine the attitude you project in times of conflict and discover ways to temper it. Non verbal communication accounts for 55% of the message.

5. Use fair judgment; of yourself and of the other person. Do not excuse and do not accuse. Be realistic. Ban blaming.

6. Set boundaries, limits or conditions. Get to the point and do not beat around the bush.

7. Focus on the problem, not the personality. This helps you to take yourself out of the emotional issue and be more objective.

8. Say less. Avoid “victim deafness”. Address the issue before it gets out of hand, do not nag, and do not beat a dead horse.

9. Use “I” statements. It is difficult to argue with a person’s specific point of view, so speak only for yourself. Put the communication monkey on your own back. Use the following formula: “I feel _________, when you __________, because ________.”

10. Don’t take comments or actions personally. You do not have to acknowledge every comment, behavior or attitude. Be willing to overlook some bad behavior to avoid “tone deafness.” Develop compassion by realizing everyone acts out of his/her hurts, frustrations and rejections.

11. Choose your battles. Do not make every issue an issue. It takes two to argue; it takes one to stop. Make the relationship more important than your opinion. When relationship is the most important, others are freed to be willing to listen to your point of view.

12. Know when to let go. Make molehills out of mountains.

Effective communication is also an asset in relationship building; it does not keep another guessing.