Control vs. Faith: Which strategy is better?

There are two approaches you can take in life, the control approach or the faith approach.  Neither is better than the other.  Both are valid ways of getting through life.  It’s best to pick one and stick with it for maximum effect.  Let’s go over both strategies and see what they’re all about.

When you adopt a control strategy it simply means that you want to direct the course of your life, keeping all outcomes in your own direct control (insofar as much as you can.)  You want to decide what lessons you will work on in life.  To use an analogy, let’s say you decide that health is very important to you.  So you make an appointment with a doctor to have a physical.  You get everything checked out that is bothering you, and even go so far as to get tests taken to make sure nothing horrible is looming on the horizon.  You research the best way to eat and start eating that way.  You start exercising.  You keep track of your results, and you check in periodically with your health team to make sure everything is a-ok.  You don’t want any surprises.  You’re proactively maintaining your health ready to pounce on anything that goes awry.

Alternatively, a faith approach in life asks you to trust that the universe or your higher self will bring you the experiences you most need to have in order to learn, grow and evolve.  Back to our health analogy.  You decide that health is really important to you and you let the universe know that you are ready to achieve a state of good health.  The next thing you know, you get into a car accident and end up in the hospital.  “Gee, thanks a lot universe!  Didn’t you get my message about wanting to be healthy!”  While they’re checking you out they notice something strange in your bloodwork.  You’re unusually anemic.  Upon further examination they find a fibroid tumor on your ovaries that is slowly leaking blood into your system.  You had no idea.  They rush you to surgery, fix you right up, and you’re back on your feet in no time.  You realize that if you hadn’t been in that car accident you may have had a rupture and been lost.

Now let’s go back to the control strategy for a minute.  The danger in adopting a control strategy is that sometimes you miss clues and signals from the universe trying to tell you that you’re headed for disaster.  Because you’re not tuned to the faith channel, you get no warning.  For example, let’s say you want to be a successful video game developer.  You’re a great programmer, a decent artist, and your girlfriend says she’ll write the music for all your games.  Check, check, and check.  You make a game, get an agent, and try to sell it to a publisher for a six-figure advance.  And you wait, and wait.  Aha, a deal finally comes along, but it falls through even after the contract is signed.  So you keep working and end up with a publisher who pays you a much smaller amount to make a game, promising you bigger money later.  You work hard, do everything you’re supposed to, and before you can publish your game, the publisher informs you that they cannot publish your game because they are going bankrupt.  They take you down with them.  You slowly recover, deciding you’d better keep things even more under your control so you publish your own games and you’re doing just great, finally making a profit.  Only, hmmm, you don’t seem to be getting ahead.  You work harder, increase your income, hire a producer to help you manage all the work, and yay, you start making a good solid income.  Only, hmmm, your expenses go up too.  For a while you try to work out the kinks but you just can’t figure out where you’re going wrong.  Sales are great and your business model is sound and profitable.  You seem to be doing everything to get ahead but you’re not making any real progress.

One day you go to the I Can Do It conference in Las Vegas and it finally dawns on you:  “I’m doing it all wrong.  I don’t want to make video games for a living.  I want to explore personal growth and help others grow.  Wow, took me 10 years to see that.  If only I’d been paying attention to the blocks that kept coming my way.  But how could I see?  I was so focused on my goal, never questioning whether it was the right goal for me.”  You adopt a new goal and finally start seeing some effortless prosperity, and tons of personal growth.  You’re happier than you’ve ever been. 

The pitfall in using a control strategy is that if you happen to be going in the wrong direction you won’t know it for a long time.  Think of it like driving around a new town in the dark and refusing to ask for directions.  You’re so sure you know where you’re going that you ignore or simply cannot see the signs telling you that you’re on the wrong highway.  Sometimes you have to stop and check to make sure you’re still headed in the direction you really want to go.  You can still carry the control strategy with you, but you’d be wise to check in with the universe occasionally to make sure you’re still aligned with your true north.

But now let’s talk about the challenges of the faith strategy.  The universe does not care about your comfort, it will help you grow by whatever means necessary.  If the universe thinks the only way you’ll learn compassion is by becoming homeless say bye-bye to your house and job.  If the universe thinks the only way you’ll learn forgiveness is to be violently attacked in a back alley, say bye-bye to your face and get the ice ready.  When you adopt this strategy you have to be prepared for some uncomfortable, and often painful, challenges.  These will seem like whims of Fate, like life is against you.  These challenges can beat you down until you have nothing left inside you to recover.  But only if you’re not listening to the faith channel.  If you’re listening, you will pick up on the clues quickly and avoid bankruptcy, homelessness, or a terrible beating. ;) 

Another danger in adopting the faith strategy is believing the universe will take care of your every need, so you become lazy.  “Hey if the universe wanted me to go to college I’d be getting a catalog in the mail.”  Or, “I’ll get a job when the universe tells me where I’m supposed to be working.  In the meantime, turn Halo 3 back on, I’m working here.”

Again there is no right or wrong choice here, you just want to be aware of the pitfalls and challenges of each strategy, so you can mitigate your pain and discomfort.  If you’re going to adopt a control strategy just make sure you check in occasionally and see if the blocks aren’t there for a good reason.  Maybe you’d be happier doing something else.  Maybe he doesn’t love you no matter how hard you work to be perfect.  Maybe she’s not right for you even though she is drop dead gorgeous.  Maybe you’re not supposed to be living in Phoenix and that’s why a freak tornado took out your house. 

If you’re going to adopt a faith strategy then be very aware when the universe is trying to tell you something.  Missing a sign or signal can sometimes lead to disaster.  Pointedly ignoring what the universe is trying to tell you will probably land you in the hospital or on the evening news.  “Honey, I’ve been having this weird feeling like we should go visit your mother.  Yeah I know I can’t stand her, but I really think we should leave town this weekend.  Like right now.”  You pack up, leave town, and are happily fighting with your mother-in-law when you get word that a tree fell on your house in the middle of the night, killing the bed you sleep in.  Be glad you listened, and be nice to your mother-in-law because she just saved your life. ;)

How do you choose a strategy?  Which one is right for you?  I actually suggest you try them both on for size.  You might even want to give them each a 6 month trial.  You could try adopting a faith strategy in one area of your life, such as your business and career, while adopting a control strategy in another area, like health.  But always be aware of the pitfalls and challenges of each strategy and act accordingly.  It’s probably best to pick one strategy and stick with it or you may get mixed results.

You can be successful with either strategy, but understanding the ins and outs is the key to success with either one.

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