There are many things that happen to us in life that are out of our control. Loved ones die, family members become abusive, strangers can turn your life inside out, upside down. When such traumatic experiences happen, especially when we’re young and beginning to shape our life beliefs, these very significant events lead us to believe that we’re really not in control. Even well-intended parents teach us things are out of our control (“don’t do that!” or “that’s not going to happen, choose something else’). We quickly learn that things happen to us in this world, or that we are not capable, and we have to suck it up. Make lemonade out of lemons.

Why have we chosen to give up our control – because it’s easier? Whatever reason we have in denying this responsibility, unless we choose to own our birthright, we will continue to be just a shell of who we are capable of being. Take back the wheel. Understand that you cannot create the events that happen around you, but acknowledge that you can create your own experience.

E + R = O

Having learned this equation changed my perception of reality.

Event + Response = Outcome. If you can choose your response, you can choose your outcome. By taking ownership of your responses, you can shape your reality and outcome to be whatever you want it to be. It takes time, perseverance, and commitment. But commit to making each and every decision and response that is worthy of you. From small decisions (e.g., choosing to wake up at 5am instead of hitting the snooze again) to big decisions (e.g., choosing to take bigger risks in financial part of life), own it.

How do you make a conscious, heart-aligned decisions every day, all day?

  1. If you’re in an emotionally unhelpful place, make the conscious effort to postpone the decision until you’re no longer emotionally vulnerable to make decisions that are not helpful. When you’re emotional brain is wired and activated, your rational brain takes a step back (no longer in command).
  2. With each decision, even the little ones, ask yourself: are you making this decision from a place of love or fear? For example, by choosing to hit the snooze button all week, are you acting out of fear that you won’t be able to accomplish what you’d like to accomplish? Where else in your life has fear led you to become inactive?
  3. Understand your values. Recite them until they become your creed. What you stand for in this world requires consistent and persistent action. Knowing what you stand for will help you make decisions that align you closer to what you believe in. Our brains are wired to close the gap between our current state to our desired state.
  4. Your cognitive resources are finite. This means that towards the end of the day, you’ll have significant difficulty making decisions. Therefore, make a conscious effort to make important decisions in the morning and plan out not so important decisions (e.g., what to have for dinner) ahead of time – all at once – so that you don’t have to deplete your cognitive resources making smaller decisions like these. For example, you can spend a small part of Sunday afternoon planning your meals for the week. It’s been said that individuals like Steve Jobs and former President Obama understood this concept and wore the same clothes every day (different clothes, same color/style).

By shifting your mindset and taking small action steps, you can take back control of your life. Remember that your response defines the outcome (E+R=O) and make decisions based on love, not fear. How else can you make smaller steps to taking back the wheel? Respond below with tips that you’ve found helpful in your life.