Off The Grind

The Power Of The Mind

The Struggle for Control

“Everyone’s life is under someone’s control — it might as well be under your own so that you can direct your destiny.” — Harry Tucker, Microsoft Senior Enterprise Strategy Adviser

The struggle for control — it is as much a mindset as a set of circumstances. A particular piano player comes to mind…

A year after Van Cliburn won the 1948 Tchaikovsky competition, the second place winner, Liu Chi Kung was imprisoned as a result of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. He was held for seven years, and during that time he had no access to a piano.

Upon release, however, he was quickly back on tour, and to the amazement of music critics, was playing better than ever.

“How did you do this?” he was asked. “You had no chance to practice for seven years.”

Liu replied, “I did practice. Every day. I rehearsed every piece I have ever played, note by note, in my mind.”

Liu had his circumstances affected, but ultimately he was not controlled. And he found a way to participate in what he loved doing — even in prison.

There will always be events and people who will affect your life. That is unavoidable. What you can, and must avoid is giving up control to them. This means taking ultimate responsibility for your own predicament — regardless of how you got there — not making excuses, and utilizing ALL the resources available to you.

Not many are able to muster all of that so they blow like a leaf in the wind — but it is always a good reminder that if we accept the responsibility that comes with control, directing our own destiny is ours for the taking…