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Playing in the Mud – Taking Control

When I am out on an obstacle course, I always feel in control. I attempt the obstacles my way. I choose the speed that I run and when I run. I decide if and when I am going to help other people. My race. My decisions. My control.

We have all seen those people during a race (typically guys) who seem out of control. They are running downhill and seem to be going too fast or when they get to obstacles they seem to have no regard. I am not talking about the person who passes you and you say, “Wow, look at that guy” in amazement. I am talking about the guy who passes you and you say “Wow, look at that guy” waiting for the train wreck. It is all about control.

What about in life? What about controlling life? I was recently talking to a friend and I wished the friend luck in a job interview. There were some back and forth and I finally said, “Just crush it like you do on the course”. The friend’s response was “You are right. I have to start taking control of my life”. How do you do that?   The answer is simple, you have to want to take control. Whether you ever actually get control or not can only start with the desire to control it.

There are many phrases that people will say to you. Take care of Number 1. Worry about yourself first. These phrases are all meant to have you focus on yourself first and put everything else behind you so that you can be the person in charge. However, I think these are wrong. When you want to take control, you can’t push yourself to the front and leave everything behind. You cannot ignore the rest of your life. You cannot ignore the parts of your life you are trying to control. No burying your head in the sand and hoping everything disappears. It is all about control.

We all are pulled in different ways. Family, spouses, kids, work, training, bills, house, apartment, car and so many other things are part of our life. These are also stressors and when we try to control our life, we are trying to minimize the stress we feel and trying to figure out how to get all these things in order.

First thing to realize is that stress comes from within. You and only you can decide how much stress that you feel and most of it is subconscious. Ever feel guilty? That comes from within. Ever feel like you are letting someone down? That comes from within. Ever feel like you best is not good enough? That also comes from within. There is nothing that anyone in the world can say or do to actually make you feel stress, it is one of those things that we do ourselves. So how does it stop? It is all about control.

I have said this before. I have a favorite saying. “You cannot run through a brick wall. But, if you take the wall apart one brick at a time you will be able to walk right past it.” If every stressor/problem/issue to control in your life is a brick, together they make a brick wall. If you try to attack all your problems at once, it is like running into a brick wall. It cannot be done successfully. You will only end up regretting it. However, if you attack one problem at a time and remove that brick, eventually there will no longer be a brick wall in front of you. It will be just a pile of bricks. You cannot solve all your issues and remove all your stressors at once. It takes time. You can control how you use your time and how you overcome stress. It is all about control.

Control your problems and control your stress. I know it isn’t easy. I know it seems impossible. One breath at a time, one step at a time and one problem at a time. Make a mental list of everything that you want to overcome and take them on one at a time. Take the easiest one first and remove that brick. Every brick removed will make you feel better and better. Repeat. Repeat and repeat. Soon you will see that your brick wall is just a pile that you can walk past. You have climbed walls. You have overcome all types of obstacles on a course and most of us have jumped fire. Imagine how easy it will be to walk through bricks.

Back to control. This is all in your hands and this is all up to you. Will you will allow these stressors to control you, or will you attack them head on and over come. When you are on a course, will you attack the obstacles or will you shy away. The choice is yours, but really…is it even a choice?

I never asked my friend how that interview went, but last time we talked my friend was happy, optimistic and excited. This friend will also be racing again real soon which we all know is the elixir to any stress or problem.   I know just from my friend’s tone of voice that things are getting under control.

Your problems are only as big as you allow them to be. Take control, over come them and be your own elixir. That will be the greatest obstacle course will ever conquer.

Until next time, be epic and keep playing in the mud!

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