Learning control through awarenessEvery day, we are creating, developing, fostering, nurturing, and strengthening our relationships. Life is interconnected. As our journey through it continues, we meet new people, keep up with others to varying extents, and unfortunately as life sometimes dictates, things can fade to a state of dormancy. It is very hard to keep strong connections and have meaningful relationships with everyone in and throughout our life; no matter how much we would like to. Life as we live it in the 21st Century, simply doesn’t allow for it. Of all of our relationships, one of the most integral to our eventual success and a lifetime of happiness, is our relationship with control.

Control is finite. We truly have a very limited amount in life, despite what some incline their selves to believe. In short, control is mostly an illusion and more often than not, it is an absolute sapper and displacer of energy. When we’re driving down the interstate, and someone abruptly rips their car in front of ours with no signal, and at a high rate of speed, we’re flustered. Our heart rate elevates, our grip on the steering wheel tightens, and we’re incensed, as this person showed no regard for our personal safety nor anyone else in our car or on the road. This is highly upsetting. However mad, angry, or frustrated we get, will this change anything? If we allow our anger and frustration to continue to spin us up, as our heart rate continues to elevate leading to our vice grip on the steering wheel turning into a fist we’re violently shaking as we cuss the driver out, what have we done? Will the driver hear us, or will our ‘what for’ change their behavior? Does this elevated heart rate, boiling anger, frustration, clinched fist of rage, and cuss out feel good in the long-term? How long will we carry this one singular event with us, and will it be the focal point of our attention? Will it still be on the forefront of our mind when we pick our children up from soccer practice? How will this impact the way we treat our completely uninvolved children we truly love? Will we be short with them, as we’re preoccupied with something we will never change? Will this keep us from truly hearing the experience they are so excited to share with us? What do we actually have control of in instances of this nature?

When we fail to recognize where our control lies, we become controlled by that which we cannot control. We will never control that driver, nor our boss, coach, employees, children, the weather, the lottery balls, or simply, anything beyond our self. When we give our control to any of the aforementioned, we willingly become a leaf in the wind; embarking on a journey wherever that outside influence feels like taking us. This will never be a path of our choosing. We lose that the moment we give our control to someone or something else. However, this is not how it has to be.

Through our awareness, we have the ability to recognize when we’ve given our control away. From here, we are better able to recognize we’ve drifted off the path. At this point, we can act, and truly exercise our control. Through our awareness, we are better able to create, develop, foster, nurture, and strengthen our relationship with control. This will better help to keep us on the path to where we want to go.

Tommy spent six and a half years in the Marine Corps as an infantry officer, holding numerous leadership positions and doing multiple combat deployments. Upon leaving the service, he worked with multiple nonprofits, helping wounded service members and veterans recover through cycling and triathlon. This work deeply resonated with him and led him to pursue a Master of Arts in sport psychology. Working in this capacity, Tommy embraces the wise words of Henry Ford, who once said, “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford was talking about mindset. Mindset is everything. The way we think, the way we interpret sensory information, and our ability to thrive in complex environments are all determined by our mindset. It grounds our approach. It either helps us get where we want to go, or it is what is holding us back. With this understanding, Tommy works with athletes, performers, and business professionals, to hone their mindset, enabling them to find the results commensurate with their innate abilities. Tommy is an active endurance athlete residing in Boulder, and can be found on the roads, trails, and pools in the local area. He is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership at CU Boulder. https://www.mindsetelevated.com