Rule the Mind.Com

Set your own agenda for living

Take control

Dangling man Do you want to improve yourself, do you want to get a grip on your life and not let time just pass by. Perhaps you just want to feel more in control and not feel that you are helpless in the face of continuous bombardment of inner thoughts. Master your ‘stream of consciousness’ that seems to have a life of its own from the moment you wake up, to the moment of dreams, the inner thoughts that are driving you on uncontrollably.

To begin this journey you need to know where you are now. If you don’t know where you are it is very difficult to get to somewhere else. You can of course just wander aimlessly, drift, and by luck you may reach your goal but you are just as likely to go off in the wrong direction and never get where you want to go or stumble or get totally lost.

What you need is some way of measuring where you are now, a yardstick. We all have busy lives, we don’t have much time to ourselves or for what we would like to achieve. With working, eating, sleeping, shopping, close relationships, socialising, washing, watching TV and any other necessary chores there is precious little time left for ourselves. We need to maximise that time.

Dangling woman This article is about getting control and giving you more time. The paradox in all this is that the more discipline and control you have over yourself the more freedom and free time you gain. Instead of making endless excuses about not doing something, improving your career prospects, studying for an exam, improving your health, educating yourself, taking up a hobby, meeting new friends, you will be revitalised and raring to go.

You are not alone, we all do it when we have something to do, procrastinate, avoid doing what we should, watch another mindless TV show, read all the trivia in the paper, have a drink etc. We put obstacles in our path which delay all attempts at moving forward. We do it because we are safe, in our comfort zones, but there is still that nagging little voice that you ought to be doing something to change your life, to get out of the rut, to make yourself better. Safe is not fulfilled. Once you start doing something else you will be surprised how much you enjoy it. It is the getting started that is the hard part but once you start you will change for the better.

Break chains This technique is easy; by degrees you will gain more control over your life and move ahead. What it will give you above all else is a sense of self and freedom. You will understand what you are doing with your time and how you are behaving. Read this along with some of the other articles on this website like Live the Dream and How to Plan.

What you need: A PC and Spreadsheet if you have one, if not a ruled sheet of paper. (See example table below.)

List down the left hand side, elements of life and character that are important, that can have positive impact on you well-being, which you need to get a measure of and drive forward. I have listed the ones I think are universal. You may want to add one or two of your own.

Respect for self; Control of self; Control of time; Direction; Effort; Clear Thinking; Focus; Consideration for others; Empathy; Kindness; Humanity; Mensch; Happiness; Health; Energy; Positiveness; Confidence; Self-Belief; Calmness.

(See below for an explanation of some of these.)

Balance Now in the next column, put a date at the top and against each of these elements give yourself a mark out of 100 e.g. how happy are you, how much self belief do you have. (Don’t be too hard on yourself.) That in essence is all there is to it. You will immediately see where you are and where you need to get to. If you consider yourself to be only 50% fit then you need to work on bringing your health up to 100%. Ok 100% may not be possible but you have a target to aim for and if you make a 10% improvement that is a huge step forward.

Next leave a few lines on your spreadsheet or paper and list down the left hand side, elements of life and character that are having a negative impact on your well-being. There are less of these but you still need to keep them in control. Again you may wish to add one or two of your own, not too many I hope.

Bad Feelings/Thoughts; Insecurity; Feelings of Inferiority; Negativity; Selfishness; Mind Fatness.

(See below for an explanation of some of these.)

This time you are aiming for a low score out of 100.

Every week revisit your spreadsheet or piece of paper and put down your new marks out of 100. As you take control of these elements of your life you will see your marks improve. You can give yourself an overall percentage and watch your mark increase on the positive side and decrease on the negative side.

This technique will not change your life overnight but by gradual degrees. It is easy and takes little time but will show you week by week where you are against your own yardstick. I have found that something as simple as getting control of health through regular exercise has a positive affect on the majority of the elements.


Trait Goal 15/05/2007 20/10/2007
Respect for Self1007080
Control of Self1006070
Control of Time1005070
Health & Fitness1005468
Clear Thinking1004070

Trait Goal 15/05/2007 20/10/2007
Bad Feelings/Thoughts0205
Mind Fatness06020

Some elements explained:

Control of Self – How much control do you have over your thoughts and actions?
Control of Time – How well do you manage your free time?
Direction – Do you have a goal and are you moving towards it?
Effort – How much effort are you putting in to life in general? (You can only get out what you put in)
Empathy – How well do you understand other people? (You can’t just think about yourself)
Thinking – How much thought are you putting into what matters?
Clear Thinking – How clear, lucid is your thinking?
Energy – What are you energy/enthusiasm levels?
Positiveness – How positive/hopeful are you?
Humanity/Mensch –The Germans have a good word for this ‘Mensch’. How much of an all rounded human being are you? How good to you feel about yourself and your outlook on the world?

Bad feelings/thoughts – You must eradicate these from your mind. Do not let them control you. They do not exist.
Inferiority – You have a right to be who you are. No one is better than you.
Negativity – Don’t be negative!
Mind Fatness – The opposite of Clear thinking.

To work out your percentages:
Add all the 100s up, add all your marks up, divide your total marks by the total 100s and you will get your percentage.

Your life will improve dramatically if you take control. You control all these elements, how you think about yourself and others. Don’t let life run you, run your life.

Statue of Joy by wim heesakkers