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The Art of Giving Up Control

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

The Pearls of Wisdom Diaries: Chapter Three ( Part One )

Varsha Vadiraj

I have always been someone who likes to be in control. I like to plan things in advance and I make sure that I know what my list of ‘to do’ things are for the week. Every time a concerned friend has come to me with a problem, I offer the same standard advice — ‘Don’t worry too much, just go with the flow’, but while I have said this to others countless times, I have always had trouble implementing it in my own life. The notion of giving up control can seem awfully scary to me. On some level, this applies to each one of us. No matter what our circumstances and where we are in life, we all very much like being in control. We like knowing what lies ahead and planning out our lives in a fairly detailed manner. Hence, if something does not go as anticipated, we lose our cool. While, its perfectly sensible and logical to plan our lives for the day, week or even the entire month, I wouldn’t say its the best idea to plan out your life years in advance. I will tell you why.

I had always dreamt of being a doctor. I was fairly sure and I knew I wanted nothing else. Things did not go the way I planned and years later, I ended up graduating as a Chemical Engineer. Do I regret this decision? No, I don’t. I am perfectly happy with what I am doing right now and though at one point, I did want to be a doctor, I personally don’t think it was the right profession for me. I am sure everyone has had those instances where things just did not go the way they had planned but looking back, they are happy that it didn’t work out the way they had once wanted it to.

The idea of giving up control is frightening because we are wired to perceive this is as a danger. Moreover, who do we give the control to then? I know most people won’t agree with me on this, but I do believe that we are part of a perfectly ordained universe. As humans, we have lived side by side with thousands of other species on a round planet for millions of years and so far, we’ve been doing just fine. Think of it from this angle, and you’ll know that simply trusting that you will be OK and that the events that pan out in your life will be for your good and can just make you feel at peace.

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