Do You Surrender?
You’re given 24 hours to come up with a million dollars or come up with another way to save your family before someone else exercises control over their fates, what do you do?
Do you surrender?
Of course not. You’re going to do everything you can to regain control over the situation right?
Now here’s another scenario:
You’re slammed at work, having the hardest time keeping your head above water as it is through all of the responsibilities you have to juggle. You can’t wait to just get home, pour yourself your favorite drink, and just RELAX. You’ve got nothing on the agenda for the evening, and plan on taking full advantage of that.
But then you get a phone call.
Your significant other is on the other line, they want to talk about the plans they’re trying to solidify for this evening. “We’re always so busy, we never get to see John and Anne, I figured it would be nice to have them over for dinner.”
While they continue on about details and the stuff you guys need from the store, all you can think about is how much you want to do absolutely NOTHING, and how once again, that isn’t going to be possible.
The line goes quiet.
“Babe? Is that okay?”
“I know we’ve been super busy, and I just remembered you told me this morning how much you were looking forward to doing nothing tonight. I just really miss our friends and figured we should take advantage of some free time while we had it.”
Do you surrender?
You’ve already convinced yourself you NEED this time to yourself. You know your significant other is totally fine with you taking it. In fact, they just even pointed out the fact that you asked for it ahead of time… It would be so easy to just ask that you meet with your friends another time…
Can I give you my advice?
Do it. Surrender. Surrender and do anything and everything your other half desires of you without question, without thought, and without doubt. Even if it’s just for tonight.
Look, believe it or not, this isn’t relationship advice. This is life advice. If you can’t see past that, consider another scenario:
Your processor just called. He said there’s a problem with one of your loans in underwriting. He said not to worry though, he’s already got a plan to fix it and is getting ready to call the borrower and request documentation, but you know that it’s unnecessary. You know the guideline, and the underwriter is overreaching. The loan needs to close in 7 days. You’re not doing anything pressing, just calling your database and asking for referrals, what do you do?
Do you surrender?
Look, as humans, we have biological programmings working inside of us at all times. Our ancestors faced challenges that our DNA has slowly used over time to develop tendencies that are meant to protect or please us.
It’s the reason we panic for a split second when we see something that looks like a snake in the corner of our eyes, even if we’re in an office where the likelihood of there being a snake is one in a million, just to find out it was a plant that you pass by every day.
It’s also the reason we work our asses off to achieve things that are meaningless to 90% of the population, with no real explanation as to why other than, “I want to be the best me that I can be.”
There are two very powerful conflicting programmings at bay inside of every single one of us, and our success can be largely based on which one has the most influence in our lives. Have you ever wondered how people could have just stood by and followed Hitler faithfully during the holocaust? Not to get dark here, but seriously, haven’t you ever wondered how in the HELL millions of people just blindly followed a guy on a mission to commit mass genocide across Europe?
Humans have a natural desire to be controlled to some extent. We are a hierarchical species, that naturally recognizes a sort of “pecking order” and we are hard-wired to find our place within that, and to adhere to it. This instinct is stronger in some than others, as with other natural instincts (think “fight or flight”), but it is present in all of us.
We also have a natural desire to be at the top of that pecking order though. Once again, it’s stronger in some than in others, but it’s the reason we chase status symbols and success. Because we are hard-wired to want to control anything and everything in our lives, and the more success we have, the more control we feel we will have.
We each have these instincts at work inside of us. Your worldly success will largely depend on your ability to exercise your natural instinct to control, and your desire to fall in line with the natural pecking order in society.
But as with anything, both instincts need to be fed in moderation. I’m going to assume since you’re reading this and in a commission environment, that you have a stronger tendency towards controlling your life. I’m the same exact way, and it’s the reason I’ve had a lot of success at a young age. But recently I’ve been falling into a trap that I now refer to as “control burnout.”
My natural tendencies to lead and to control have made it so that many of the people in my life defer to me for decisions and look for me to solve problems that arise, and if they don’t look to me I feel the obligation to step in and make it happen anyways. It’s shown to be mentally and physically exhausting, and recently I realized that I’m doing it all to myself.
Surrender more. I now LOOK for opportunities for other people to exercise control in my life. I defer to my wife for anything related to our plans outside of work and do things like requesting that if she wants me to decide on dinner that she limits me to a maximum of 2 options. I used to avoid giving my 6-year-old daughter too many options for fear of her taking too long to make a decision, and I’ve done my best to stop doing that completely. I take people up on their offers to share responsibilities in the workplace, even if I’ve got more on the line than anyone. I’ve learned to accept that people are who people are and that it’s not my place to change people who don’t want to be changed. I do everything I can to control LESS.
Except for where it matters most.
Try it out today, seriously. Are you a control freak like me? Let go, and focus on controlling the outcomes that directly lead to your ability to reach your goals. Anything else, if someone else is willing to take the reigns on it, let them. If you don’t have anyone who’s expressed the desire for control, then force it upon them. Stop using your decision-making capacity for trivial shit, and focus it on the big picture, and watch your stress levels fall while your fulfillment increases.
Good luck, and I’ll see you at the top!
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