ICDT #43: The Burden of Control

control expectations i can do that icdt Jul 25, 2022

Picture this...you are at the gym and you’re getting ready to lift some weights. It’s been a while, but you’ve decided to go for it. The barbell is in your hands and you are prepared to lift it up over your head.


But before you do so, a guy walks over to you and says, “I bet you can lift more than that. Here, let me help you.” You protest, but he insists and then he proceeds to add 20 more pounds to each side. And then he just walks away, no cheering you on, and no coaching.


You try to lift the barbell but it won’t budge. What you thought was going to be a profitable time of exercise just turned into a dead-weight hit and run that stalls your workout.


The dynamic of control is like those extra 40 pounds--extra, unnecessary weight. Control can take an otherwise regular situation and turn it into an un-liftable challenge.


And the irony is that we are that guy who added the extra weight. We do it to ourselves!


Bearing up under the weight of control takes its toll. We find we are unable to keep going while carrying the world on our shoulders. Much of the stress in our lives is caused by expectations, as well as trying to control situations so they turn out the way we think they should.


What would it look like to give up control?