What Happened When I Gave Up Control

when I gave up control
when I gave up control
Photo by: Philipp Sewing

Daily Blog #351

I have always longed to have full control of my life. Full control of everything in the past, full control of everything in the present, and full control of everything in the future as well. My mentality has always been an “it’s my life, so it’s my way or no way” type mentality.

What I was failing to realize, though, is how much I was truly missing out on when I was seeking control in every situation. All of the spur of the moment adventures, the good memories made with friends, and the stories that will last a lifetime have all been basically non-existent. And it’s all because I have craved to be in control of every situation.

So what happened when I gave up control? How did I feel, and what changed? Alright, well before we get into that, let me share a little story with you.

My buddy texted me last Thursday asking me if I wanted to hang out and go out on Saturday night. Without hesitation, I responded by agreeing to go out because at that given moment, it sounded like fun. But after about ten minutes of thinking about it, I was already starting to regret my decision. Going out with a group of people would result in me having little to no control of what was going to happen. I was not going to be in the pilot seat, and that thought didn’t excite me too much.

Like I tend to do right after making commitments (or at least what I used to do), I was starting to look for a way out. All of a sudden I was open to the idea of babysitting my niece, watching my dog so that my parents could go out, and I wasn’t even opposed to the idea of going in to work. I just wanted to be doing something in which I had control over.

After a lot of pondering, I remembered that this was something that I was trying to improve in my life. I want to make more memories with friends, but if I truly wanted to do so, then I also needed to be willing to give up control. So, as difficult as it was (and trust me, it was difficult), that’s exactly what I did. I gave up control and went with the flow.

At first, it was incredibly difficult and it felt extremely awkward.

It was as though my friends all of a sudden had control of my life instead of me, and it was they who controlled my fate. As dramatic as that sounds, that’s exactly how it felt. But I decided to go along with it anyways.

What was originally supposed to be just me and one friend hanging out had turned into three of us, and as the night went on, a fourth buddy came out. Now, I had absolutely zero control over what was going to happen. But as the night went on, I was slowly starting to become okay with that.

So what happened when I gave up control and decided to go along with the flow?

Well, for starters, I had the time of my life. I was spending time with friends that I hadn’t seen in years, and it just felt liberating to let go and not be confined to a specific plan.

Aside from that, you know how earlier I was talking about those spur of the moment adventures and the stories that will last a lifetime? Yeah, those happened. They happened without me even knowing that they were happening. We didn’t just make memories, we created enough stories in that one night to where we could probably turn them into a movie.

To be completely honest, it was one of the best nights going out with friends that I can remember having in years. And to much of my surprise, it came when for the first time in a long time, I was not in control, nor was I seeking to be.

So the next time that you are seeking control, try what I am going to continue to try to improve on. Don’t think about all that you are losing by giving up control, think about all that you are gaining. Think about the friendships you will make, the adventures that you will experience, and the memories that you will make. After all, it is those memories that will last a lifetime.

Michael Bonnell



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