THE BLOG
05/23/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Sick of Feeling Out of Control in 2010? Let it go.

I always say, "Make a plan for what you want to do with your life. It's the greatest piece of fiction you will ever write."

Truly. Life unfolds. You cannot force, command, direct, ordain, bully, manage or control it. You just can't. As soon as you think you have everything all figured out, you slam right into an obstacle. There goes the plan.

If we could control life, we'd all have millions in the bank, excellent health, gorgeous spouses or partners, perfectly behaved children, fully functional families and, well, you get what I mean. Life would be oh-so-pretty on every given day. It would be predictable and it would be fair.

It would also be boring.

There is so much in life that is out of our control, yet we feel some urge to manage the unmanageable to achieve the outcome we want. We want people to think, react, and behave the way we want them to. We want our efforts to be successful. We want to know where we are headed, but sometimes we just can't.

You could be on the greatest run of your career, only to find out that you have cancer. You get it together, adjust your plan of what is ahead and gear up to do what you have to do to beat the disease. But, sometimes it isn't up to you. Sometimes, life comes at you in ways that are brutal and unfair. It's all part of the growth experience.

You can't control what happens to you, but you can control your reaction. Look at how many people have been shocked to learn their spouses have been cheating or living secret lives. And how many people have devoted their lives to companies that were quick to dismiss them when times got tough. Look how many people thought they had secure retirements, only to see their investments disappear.

Life is fragile and unpredictable. It turns on a dime. One day you are healthy, the next day you are not. One day you are happily married, the next day you are not. One day you are gainfully employed, the next day you are not. We are constantly faced with an uncertainty that is so unsettling to some that, rather than learning to ride the waves, they try in vain to control the tide.

Life can't be controlled.