Taking control

Progress is the nature of life and of time, but it can be easy to allow time to progress while your minds and bodies stagnate. So how do we prevent this? How do we take control of our lives, when we are limited in what can actually control? 

The only thing that we can truly control in life is ourselves: made up of our thoughts, actions, and how we spend our time. So what we do with this control matters, right? 

Before touching on the topic of control I think it is important to talk about what matters. 

The truth is that whether anything “matters" is up to each individual, what matters to me, does not mean it will matter to anyone else.  You could choose to focus on the fact that in the grand scheme of things nothing truly matters, in 1000 years people probably won't know your name or what you did. So if all that matters to you is recognition and approval from others - this observation will sting. 

While you could choose to say that nothing matters, that you may as well give up right now, You could also move to the opposite end of the spectrum and think that everything matters, in which case you will likely run yourself into the ground with stress and worry. 

There is no right answer. 

There is no perfect way to live your life. 

I think that to have a happy life it requires a balance between these two extremes. Not everything matters, but we can choose what matters to ourselves. 

By nature there is not some logical equation you can follow to live a perfect life, there is no formula. Instead it might require tapping into your emotional side, you get to control what matters to you, and you can build your life around those values. 

I like to see life, in all its confusion and chaos, as an opportunity to say a little fuck you to the universe and choose to instead of simply surviving, choose to thrive and to thrive with others. 

An opportunity to ask yourself "how much can I do while I am here?, how many people can I help if I really put my mind to it?" to really say that yes nothing matters but Im gonna try anyways because nothing can stop me. You can let go of your worries once you have accepted that the only things that matter in life are what you say matters. Knowing that life will always go on and you will be okay one way or the other in any given circumstance. 

“Everything that happens is either endurable or not. If it’s endurable, then endure it. Stop complaining. If it’s unendurable… then stop complaining. Your destruction will mean its end as well. Just remember: you can endure anything your mind can make endurable, by treating it as in your interest to do so. In your interest, or in your nature.” - Marcus Aurelius

If you want to take control of your life, then I believe it is vastly important to familiarize yourself with the concept of progress. The progress of your mind, your body, and your spirit will keep moving forward *with* time, so that you may not look back on your life when you are dying, as a bundle of regrets and missed opportunities. 

The way I split the concept of progress is in 4 fields of your life. 

- Your habits ( things you do daily ) 

- your thinking ( what you spend your time thinking on )

- your projects ( things that you are building )

- Your downtime ( how you relax & what content you view)


Your habits can be broken down further into areas such as 

- Physical ( how are you eating and excersizing ) 

- Mental ( what are you doing to learn & build clarity ) 

- Social ( how are you maintaining your relationships and having fun with others ) 

Building habits that benefit you is of the upmost importance. These allow you to do what you want to do, when you want to and make progress purposefully in each of these areas of your life. 

Changing your habits is hard, it requires being real with yourself about what you do each day, choosing the path you want your life to take and building your routines and habits around those long term goals. 

Remembering that progress is slow and trying to change everything all at once likely will lead to habits that don't stick. Stacking habits is a powerful way to improve, focusing on one new habit or routine for a couple weeks, then adding new ones once the last one is habitual to you. The right habits will make it easy to take care of yourself, the people you care about, and take control of your time. 


Your thinking can be expanded on through: 

- The topics you think about primarily

- The ways you are trying to grow and maintain an attitude of open-mindedness 

- The words and themes you speak to yourself with ( keeping these positive and maintaining an attitude of a student ) 

If you think about all of these things during your day then you will naturally progress through life and improve on these various aspects. Conscious progress in each of these areas will allow you to have control over your mind and your life. 

You spend your entire life in your own head, with your own thoughts and feelings. Choosing how think about different aspects of your life and using the right vocabulary can allow you to think purposefully and treat yourself positively throughout the day. 

Your projects

Your projects are the work you do all the time because you want to, not because anyone is making you, not because it’ll be "better" for your but because you want to do it, because you will find it interesting and because you are working on something that you know you will be proud of when it's finished.

Building something you can be truly proud of after you've done it, is from my perspective the most important part about any project you take on. You are building up wins in your head, without the need to show it to anyone else, because even if no one else knows you are taking the steps, you are building up your repertoire of evidence to yourself of what you are doing as a human being, and how you are contributing to the world in some meaningful way (meaningful to you, not everyone).

Your downtime

Downtime is on here because I think it is important to always remember that you are human, you cannot work all the time, and in fact you will actually work far better if you have the proper work/life balance.

So please don't feel bad when you have an "unproductive day" because it is far more important to show up everyday, whether or not it's the most productive day.

In other words, Consistency > Productivity. 

It is awfully hard to beat the one who keeps showing up. 

So keep in mind you can do whatever you want to relax, but I encourage you to not only reference the shorthand list of activities you can do to relax. 

These can be hard to change because if it is a daily activity it is deeply ingrained in your habits and your life. It is perfectly normal to not need television to relax for example (nothing wrong with television as a form of relaxation either). You can also relax by reading books, going on walks, and consuming purposeful content as well.

p.s. it is important I think to note that no one is "perfect" and that it is your life, this time is short, do whats fun, do whats relaxing, just make the decisions to do them consciously, not simply because "thats what I've always done". 

This is something that I believe everyone should care about. You get ONE life, spend your time here wisely to make the most of it. Not for any credit, or reward. Simply because you will live a more fulfilling life if you are aware of how you are going through life, not just watching it all play out around you.

Take control of your decisions, allow those decisions to take back control of your time, and your life.

That’s why the idea of progress is important to me.

If everyone can always be better, why shouldn't we always try to be better. Why shouldn't we work hard, just because we can. Why shouldn't we take the hard way and give everything our all.


Your life will progress as time passes whether or not you do anything. you can sit there and just let life pass through you or you can take part in your life and be an active participant in your progress. Progress does not come in huge chunks, and you will never be the ideal version of you, EVER. You can always be better just as you can always have higher goals to achieve. There will never be a day where you can say “I can't get any better." 

Progress is slow and can be painfully difficult. Appreciating the little things in life and focusing on small wins is a way to find meaning in the chaos. When struggle or negative emotions pull you out of your rhythm it helps to look at the bigger picture and remember why you are doing what you are doing and how it is pushing you towards your goals in the long run. 

Knowing that you are allowed to relax as well as what ways of relaxing work for you is especially important when you are extra stressed and busy. 

Share happy moments with friends and family and don't forget how important the people in your life are to you. These are the people that will help you when you are struggling, people that have your back, so do what you can to help them when they are down too. 

Everything in life is a balance. Getting the balance between the different areas of your life is a hard and never ending task. Enjoying the journey is the trick;).