The Law of Control says that you feel positive about yourself to the degree to which you feel you are in control of your own life, and you feel negative about yourself to the degree to which you feel that you are not in control, or that you are controlled by some external force, person or influence.

This law or principle is widely recognized in psychology. It is called “locus of control” theory. It is generally agreed that most stress, anxiety, tension and psychosomatic illness comes about as a result ofthe person feeling out ofcontrol, or not in control ofsome important part ofhis life.

For example, if you feel that your life is controlled by your debts, or your boss, or your ill health, or a bad relationship, or the behavior of others, you will suffer stress. This stress will manifest itself in irritation, anger, and resentment. If not dealt with, it can progress to insomnia, depression or illness of various kinds.

You can have either an internal or an extemallocus of control. That is, you can feel that you are in charge ofyour own life, happy, positive and confident, or you can fed controlled by others, help less, trapped, very much like a victim.

In every case, control over your life begins with your thoughts, the only thing over which you do have complete control. How you think about any situation determines how you feel, and your feelings detennine your behavior.

Self-discipline, self-mastery, self-control all begin with you taking control of your thinking. No person or situation can make you fed anything-it is only the way you think about a situation that makes you feel the way you do. And you can control the way you think. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

There are basically two ways you can get control of any situation that is causing you stress or unhappiness. First, you can take action. You can move forward and do something to change it. You can assert yourself in the situation and make it different somehow. And second, you can simply walk away. You can often regain control by letting go of a person or situation and getting busy doing something else.

Sometimes the very best thing to do in a situation if you feel out ofcontrol is just to leave. Ifyou have ever ended an unhappy relationship or quit an unpleasant job, you will remember how much better you felt when you stopped struggling. By deciding not to resist anymore, you took back your sense ofcontrol.

The law of control explains why it is so important for you to be decisive. It explains why it is so important for you to know exactly what you want. The self-confidence that comes with feeling in control is why a person with a clear purpose and a plan always has an edge over someone who is vague or unsure.

Examine the various areas of your life with a mental checklist and decide where you feel positive and in control, and where you don’t. Then begin thinking of the specific things you could do to get control in those parts ofyour life causing you stress. Think also of the situations you might be better off walking away from.

One of your major responsibilities is to get and keep your life under control. This sense of control becomes your foundation for building greater happiness and success in the future. Make sure it’s rock solid.