How To Take Control of Your Life

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. we ourselves must walk the path. -Buddha

There comes a time in life where you have to make a choice over who you want to be, what you stand for, and what you are investing your time in. So you want to take control of your life? Great, me too. But first, lets be honest with each other.

I see so many young men and women that have no time to workout, but invest hundreds of hours in playing somebody else’s life through a video game. They’re great at levelling up Lara Croft or grinding gear in whatever new money-draining Activision release there is, but can’t spare an hour to level up themselves.

They can’t afford to eat healthy, or buy supplements to help reach their goals, but they can swing by McDonald’s three times a week, and drop a hundred on a Saturday night booze sesh.

They haven’t got enough energy to play with the kids or engage with the family. They’re so tired from work and want to just chill with a movie, watching great characters act out great lives rather than forging those lives for themselves.

I’m gonna cut through the shit now and tell you the truth. If you play video games, if you sit down to watch movies or Netflix binge after work, if you grab some ‘quick’ fast food on your way back from wherever, then your lack of time, money, and energy, is bullshit. It’s a choice. A choice to favour instant gratification over long term investment in yourself. If you want to take control of your life, it’s time to play the long game, and start levelling up you.

Reality check: If you are simply going through the motions, day by day, idolising characters in movies while claiming you ‘wish’ to be like them, or living the lives of video game characters rather than living your own, you’re wasting precious time that you can never get back. Put simply, you’re a product of the modern world, and you believe that through all this you are actually living. Grinding the grind. Doing the best you can. I know this, because I’ve been this, and sometimes I still AM this.

But it’s time to get real with ourselves right now. How do you really feel? Are you content, happy, fulfilled? Or right there, beneath the surface of your easy-go-lucky ‘whatever,’ are you feeling a lack of individuality? A lack of a sense of self, of purpose? Don’t you feel that something is missing. Well it is… and what’s missing, is YOU.

And the way out really isn’t that difficult to see, but it takes a whole load of struggle to change it. It takes discipline, dedication, and drive to pull yourself out of this mind-numbing cycle. It takes the ability to focus on the bigger picture, until it starts to flow naturally. You have to make the conscious decision to LIVE, rather than exist in this zombie-like state we too easily consider living.

So let’s try a few things.

    First, we have to acknowledge the FACT that we can live the lives we wish we could. We can be strong, we can go on wild adventures, we can get the girl, we can master painting or piano. If anyone has ever done anything, you can do it too, and likely so much more than that.
    Second, start working to level yourself up. Instead of grinding for craft materials and new gear, get yourself on a training program, and spend just an hour or so, a few times a week, building yourself up. Those few hours put you ahead of 99% of the population. It’s consistency that sets you aside. Remember the long term, and keep showing up. Don’t succumb to failure like everyone else.
    Finally, stop wasting money on crappy, fleeting shit like fast food and energy drinks, when a healthy diet will reward you a lifestyle where energy drinks aren’t necessary to get through a day. We’ve existed for thousands and thousands of years without all that junk. We used to sleep. We used to relax. We used to eat what was grown. We used to MOVE. We used to be present. We used to see life as short and fleeting, and lived it as such.

I hope you can see that all of this is a simple change of mindset. It’s like waking up from a deep sleep. The world you’ve been trapped in is some dreamlike utopia, where our dreams are realised through virtual reality and short term boosts of false happiness. In reality, true happiness comes from fulfilment, and fulfilment comes through living YOUR life.

There are a few fundamentals. Think of them like foundations. We need to rebuild and relearn those things. The stronger the foundations, the more long lasting the happiness. Things like strength and mobility, self sufficiency, decent sleep patterns, an awareness of the shortness of life, an exposure to nature and ALL the elements. Get out in the heavy rain, the blistering cold, the blustering wind, and the burning sun. Get out in all those conditions and move. Simply walk. Sit. Listen.

My lovely little girl, Lily, and I, enjoying a walk in nature

We need to engage with our families. Nothing makes you smile more than pleasing your loved ones. Instead of that fast food, bring home some flowers, or better yet, some decent ingredients to cook a healthy meal. Spend time with your loved ones. Real time. Present. Caring. Attentive. Listen to your daughter tell you that she fell out with Lucy because she stole her pencil, and that Abigail got it back so now they are best friends. Listen to your partner about how John from work clearly has the hots for Jewels, and that the manager hasn’t got a clue how to run the store.

And then make some fun. Get out in nature. Reassure your loved ones that all of that external drama will never be as important as the moments that you are all together. That no matter who your child’s best friend is, they will always be yours first. That yours and your partners crappy jobs are worth it so long as you come home to each other.

These are the first steps in taking control of your life. These are the first steps in coming alive. Enjoy!

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If you’ve made it this far then I thank you for your attention span! If you enjoy my content, help me make a living by leaving a tip. Every pound goes toward creating more fiction, reading more books to review, and creating artwork, sketches, tutorials, and lifestyle posts for you to enjoy. I appreciate any and all help! A little really does go a long way!


Author: Gary Holdaway

A multi genre author of short stories and novels, writing a curious mix of quick online reads and lifestyle posts.

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