02 May 2005

The Illusion of Control

So many people seem to be fighting so desperately to assert control over their world - from dictators to bureaucrats (but I repeat myself). In a recent example, there's Dr. Hammer's "process enterprise" theory, which is based on the belief that control is 1) possible and 2) desirable.

My pastor recently pointed out that fear is always the result of a perceived lack of control. Not that a lack of control always causes fear (it can be quite exhilarating) - but every fear is caused by feeling out of control. Seeking to control is basically seeking to avoid fear.

The thing is, control is generally an illusion, so recognizing that we are not in control means we are facing reality. And that can be scary, but it's generally a good idea. Ignoring or denying reality is generally a bad idea.

Fear is not bad. What's important is to respond appropriately to fear. Don't let it be your primary motivator. Don't let it run your life or drive you to seek safety and control. That is, don't let fear blind you to reality.

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