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The Only Thing We Control

I think it’s likely there’s a grander scheme of things, a master plan. But I don’t believe our decisions are being made for us. And I don’t believe that there’s a puppeteer pulling the strings, causing our behavior. I really don’t.

I think we are in this together, and perhaps the grander vision is being dictated by a higher force that none of us can perceive. Whether it’s a force, an energy field, whatever, I don’t believe it has the control to choose every one of our behaviors from the beginning of time until the end of time. I really think that’s an easy way of giving up on life.

So it’s important to me that I see myself as having free will. It’s important to me that I see the purpose of my life as being to develop myself. And what that entails changes constantly. I’m going through a whole new wave of it now, and I know you are, too.

I am so dead set on understanding who I am, understanding my relationship to the universe and having a lasting impact in some way. And what that way is is always changing. I’m always surprised by the possibilities, because just when I think I’ve figured it out, it changes and a new opportunity arises and I feel my passions shift.

So, I really believe that our behavior is the one and only thing we control in this world. We can’t control what happens to us. We can’t control what people think of us. We can’t control when we’re born, when we die, when we get sick.

I just think that we control how we react to all of the various inputs and stimuli, how we carry ourselves, how we understand ourselves, how we share ourselves with other people and how we make ourselves receptive to others.

I think all of that is within our control — our behaviors. Outside of that, I don’t think we control a damn thing.

An excerpt from my dialogue with Paul McAleer on our podcast Designing Yourself, Episode #1: The Hamster Wheel (originally aired July 9, 2013), with minimal editing for readability.

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