The Art of ‘Village Vida’ – The Illusion of Control

By Anne Goldberg, contributor

We can lead others by example. We can teach others. We can enlighten others, but we cannot control anyone else. In fact, when it comes to control, the absolute, only thing any one of us can control on this good, green earth, is how we think and what we say and do. We have the same degree of control over the weather as we do over others, which is, of course, absolutely no control whatsoever. If you think you can control others, it’s an illusion. You may manipulate or exert a power play, but in the truest sense of the word, control is an inside job.

Viktor Frankl was a respected Austrian neuropsychiatrist in 1942, when he, his wife, parents and sister were herded into cattle cars and transferred to a Jewish ghetto in Poland. His father died on the journey and Viktor subsequently spent seven months in an assortment of concentration camps. When he was liberated, he learned that the rest of his family perished. As a culmination of his experiences, he wrote, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” and one of his most famous quotes is, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

Take Control Of Your Life

How are you challenged these days? What events are conspiring to leave you feeling out of control? Can you realize that the control you seek has to do with how you think about whatever it is that’s going on?

I recently spent two weeks babysitting my three granddaughters, all under the age of five. The experience resulted in a beautiful bonding with the girls … and a pain in my back that has knocked me off my game, resulting from frequently hoisting them upon my left hip. It really hurts to walk and move, yet, I have stayed in a good mood while in such pain. Why? Because my mood is in my control and if I get cranky, I won’t be pleasant to be around. And if I’m not pleasant to be around, my boyfriend and other loved ones won’t be so inclined to spend time with me. And if that happens, then I know that depression is soon to follow because humans – all of us – derive our greatest satisfactions from the relationships we have with other humans. So I choose to feel happy for all the good in my life, rather than crappy for this miserable pain. It is a conscious and deliberate choice.

Focus On The Good

What choices are you making? Are you feeling happy or crappy? Think about the considerable good in your life; family and friends, community, financial freedom, warm, fresh air and blue skies. Focus on the good. Make it bigger in your mind and the pain and discomfort will fade slightly into the background. What you put your attention on, what you think about, is biggest in your consciousness. Don’t focus on the pain. Is it easy? Not always. Is it doable? Yep. Taking action (like getting PT, or eating to reduce inflammation) helps when things go awry. Along with managing what and how you think, being in action helps you to feel more in control.

Be a Savvy Senior. Be grateful for what you have and know that you can control your own thoughts, words and deeds. Choose the good ones and notice how much better you can feel.

For more opportunities to stay enriched and inspired, there are a lot of good things happening at John Knox Village in Pompano Beach. Feel free to contact us to discover them all. Simply click here or call 954-783-4040 today! Our friendly team is standing by and ready to help.

John Knox Village Savvy Senior, Anne GoldbergAnne Goldberg, The Savvy Senior, has a mission to help seniors know they are old enough to have a past and young enough to have a future. Her vision is to create an army of senior volunteers bringing their wisdom and experience back to the community. She helps seniors live into their future with vitality by teaching them how to use computers; with conferences & workshops on The Art of Living Longer; with decluttering & organizing; and with “Tell Your Story Videos”, preserving the stories & wisdom of your life for future generations.