I don’t think that I would have ever looked at my life and thought that I wasn’t in control. If I’m the one making decisions with the help of others or not, I’m still ultimately making decisions. But after analyzing things, I realized that I wasn’t really taking the initiative to take charge of my future.
I was passively allowing thought processes and outside stimulation to greatly influence my decision making. Now this can be a great thing depending on the type of thought processes or stimulation. But consider below what was going on.
1. Don’t allow the media to dictate you.
It was easy for me to passively buy whatever recommendations came across the television screen. It was easy to have a sickness towards beauty when I saw models in advertising. It was comfortable to passively adopt whatever idea was being strung about by politicians.
Allowing the media to dictate my life isn’t something that I consciously accepted and made a goal. It just passively happened. I was comfortable with not challenging ideas. I was comfortable with not thinking for myself.
Of course there are varying degrees of allowing the media to dictate you. But I think Americans especially have some form of it. Because we are so bombarded with advertising and because the internet plays such an important role in our daily lives, it can be hard to step outside of that and objectively see what’s going on.
2. Make goals and intentionally make steps toward completion.
I’ve had dreams and desires for my life since I was a child. Some of those have come true. And some I assumed would never happen because of my financial state, physical location or place in life. But I’ve realized that goals I have can totally be attainable. I just must make steps toward completion!
This blog post is all about the steps that I’m making today in order to make my dreams and goals become reality.
3. Stop viewing yourself as a victim
This one didn’t so much touch my life as it did Hubby’s. He grew up in a family where this was standard procedure. And doing this can stop growth in one’s life…among so many other things. But in relation to taking charge of one’s life, you can’t really take charge if you’re passively viewing yourself as a victim to many things that come down the pike.
Viewing yourself as a victim doesn’t allow for personal responsibility. It doesn’t allow for problem solving. Things just are the way the are and it’s someone else’s fault.
Disclaimer: I totally understand that there are circumstances and times in life when people are victims. What I’m talking about here is constant blaming on someone else for problems.
4. Clear out the fluff in order to focus
I’ve recently majorly de-cluttered my house. I donated 27 boxes of household items and 25 trash bags of clothing. That almost took up a whole bedroom to store until it was picked up.
The effects of that de-clutter have been amazing! Clearing away all of the unused, unnecessary and unwanted items, helps me to focus in on those things that are usable and wanted. It helps me to not have to organize and clean all of those things that I wasn’t using.
Minimalism creates space to find ourselves and what is important to us.
Example: I cleared out all of the clutter, knick-knacks, wall art, etc in our bedroom and started decorating with an empty pallet. Except for the furniture and bed linens there wasn’t anything in there. And to be honest, I haven’t put much back in our room except for a few special pieces of art on the walls. Why? The clear, uncluttered space is exactly what I need to relax and feel at ease. If I want to write for this blog or sleep or have my devotions or just be at peace, I go into that room. It’s a room that I can easily focus in.
5. Have an open expansion ideology.
I’ve made several lifestyle changes in the past 3 years. And when I began that organic living journey (as I like to call it), I didn’t have an open expansion ideology. I thought that I was only going to be making one change: healthy eating.
When making lifestyle changes though, often it doesn’t stop at just one thing. And it didn’t with me either. But honestly, I was very opposed in my mind to making certain changes. Why? Either the way I grew up, the inhibitions I had towards a certain subject or others opinions blocked having an open mind about ____ (whatever I was facing at the time).
If you can, adopt an open expansion ideology. This is taking in everything involved in a certain topic and not judging or coming to a decision right away. It’s learning as much as you can about a topic and weighing it in your mind. If you can do this, you will learn so much more than you will with a prejudice or bias.
6. Live intentionally
Living intentionally is an attempt to live in alignment with your core beliefs and values. Because I’m a dedicated Christian, I believe that I have lived this way in regards to my morality and Christian life. But in regards to other things (healthy living, future goals, minimalism, etc.) I have not.
It’s more difficult to live intentionally because you must constantly be thinking and drawing on your skills, wisdom, etc. It takes work to live intentionally because it’s an active way of living.
7. Don’t expect God to rescue you.
God gives wisdom on how to live our daily lives. There are truths not solely explicit to Christianity about wisdom in daily life. Common sense with finances, how to eat and live healthily, how to raise responsible children, keeping healthy relationships with family – all of these are common problems with solutions easily found in our world (and Bible) today.
Yet I find it so ironic and interesting that Christians expect God to rescue them from their foolish decisions while they sit by and do nothing. While I believe that God can rescue people from foolishness, I believe that God would rather us not get involved in the first place and/or learn to deal with the consequences.
- Proverbs 26:4 – Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
- Titus 3:9 – But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
- 2 Timothy 2:23 – But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
- 1 Timothy 5:8 – But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
- 1 Timothy 6:10 – For the love of money is the root of all evil:
- 1 Corinthians 10:31 – Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
- Ephesians 5:18 – And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
It’s this kind of thinking (that God will rescue me while I do nothing) that doesn’t allow us to move forward. If it’s financial, we’re stuck in a poor state. If it’s relational, we’re stuck not communicating with someone. If it’s completing goals, we’re stuck not accomplishing.