Take Control of Your Life

take control
“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t” ~ Steve Maraboli, Life, The Truth and Being Free

Our lives are defined by the choices we make and our responses or reactions to things that happen to or around us.

We cannot control what others may say or do, but we do have control over ourselves. For instance, someone you care about is making poor choices, you cannot make choices for them but you have choices on how you let that affect you.  You can stop interacting with that person, stop participating in the bad choice activities, let them know your feelings, etc.  Someone tries to start an argument with you, you can engage in the argument, walk away and tell them you’re not interested in discussing or whatever response you feel is appropriate.

You have control over your response, although sometimes we just react.  First of all, keep in mind that this is completely normal, however if you want to take control of your life you need to use your power to control your emotions or response.  Below are a couple of suggestions on how to do this:

Pause, be silent & think:  If you’re in a situation that you need to respond to in short order, take a few minutes to think.  I suggest counting to 10 before making a decision.  Don’t let the silence scare you, use it to think clearly. Think about how your response will affect the outcome of the situation and the longer term effects of that decision. Sometimes counting to 10 seems like a long time, as pointed out by a young man I was working with.  He told me he just made bad decisions sometimes. The decisions he was referring to usually involved some type of action that would land him in trouble.  I asked why he thought he kept making bad decisions and he responded with I just don’t think.  At that point I asked if he would do me a favor and before he made a decision to do something to silently count to 10.  He paused, looked up as if looking to the sky then looked me straight in the eye and said, “10 is a lot”!  I laughed and asked if we could start with 5.  Do you best to stop, be silent and think before you act.

10-10-10:  The other technique I suggest is one that is better suited for decisions that you have time to evaluate. When making a decision think about how it will affect you 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years. Let me start by saying the 10’s are just a number to signify short, intermediate and long term.  So for instance I had someone who had been looking for a job, she had been unhappy in her job for quite some time. She ended up with two offers and decided which one to accept.  When she turned in her notice to her employer they presented her with an unbelievable counter offer.  At that point she had another decision to make so we discussed using this method.

If she stays- 10 minutes: feel good – more money – move on.  10 months: same environment – harder to find a job at the new pay level, still unhappy but making more.  10 years:  still there feeling stuck and unhappy.

If she leaves- 10 minutes: feel relieved to have made a decision, excited about new opportunity, still making more that current.  10 months: new environment, learning new things, not feeling stuck. 10 years: happy, enlightened

She made the choice to accept the new position and move on.  She realized that money would not change what made her unhappy in her current job and she had an amazing opportunity to grow and move on.

This process is outlined in the free Surviving to Thriving 10 week e-course if you’d like to learn more sign up to the right.

Take control over what you do have power over – use these tools to make decisions that allow you to affect the outcome the way that is best for you.




  1. When i need to think, i do take the time and think before i act..

    • admin says:

      AWESOME!! You’re ahead of the majority then Kungphoo – good for you! Keep up the good work

  2. Lisa Hodges says:

    What a great article. I will practice some of your tips here.

    • admin says:

      I hope you find them useful as you begin to use them Lisa – I’m sure you will!

  3. Marjory Johnson says:

    I really like the 10 10 100 concept! Did you come up with this?

    • admin says:

      Hi Marjory – no I read about it a long time ago, I’ve just used it ever since learning it and find it to be a great tool!

  4. Life challenges comes always on a complete circle and it is always mirror-in oneself!

  5. I like the 10-10-10 tip. Very handy when faced with a big decision

  6. Jessica says:

    this is fabulously written and very inspiring, thanks for sharing!

  7. Great advice! I had a friend that would ask me if what was bothering me would matter in 100 years. Obviously it is not quite what you are conveying, but the principle is the same. Thanks for the reminder!

  8. Dov Shapira says:

    I could not agree with you more.
    Take a deep breath and think before you react.

    • admin says:

      Thanks Dov! Great reminder to breath!! A simple thing that we often forget.

  9. Hi Shari,

    I’ve never heard of the 10-10-100 concept. Very interesting! Great tips on how to take control of your life!

    • admin says:

      Thanks Nate – you’ll find it very useful when you start using it. . . .it makes a world of difference!!

  10. I need to start using the 10-10-100 method you mention. Specially when I start getting into things business related. Thanks for the tips!

  11. I know a woman that sometimes uses a different rule when there are certain decisions to be made. It’s her 80 year rule. How will the decision you made today be seen when you’re looking back on it when you’re 80.

    • admin says:

      Agreed! Same idea – we sometimes get so caught up in “today” that we don’t take a step back before making decisions. Thanks Meli

  12. These are some great tips you give in this article to keep your life on track and be in control of what happens!

  13. I never think before I speak … I like to be as surprised as everyone else by what comes out of my mouth 😮 …

    Jokes apart … a great read and some excellent tips which I will try to take on board. x

    • admin says:

      LOL! Thanks for the laugh Denise and unfortunately I think we all have those moments. . .some are funny and some well. . . not so much! Let me know how it goes when you incorporate some of the tips.

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