Are you in control of your life? More often than not, we fail to ask ourselves this very important question and it is only when we’re asked that we get to realize and become aware of how we’re living our lives and how much control we have over it or the lack thereof. Ideally, we all should be in control of our lives and not the other way around. How do you know if you are in control? Well, you know you’re in control when you’ve structured your life according to the plans you’ve set out so you can achieve certain goals whether these are life goals, personal goals or business goals. That’s when you know you are in control.

A lot of people I know fail to have control over their lives. The drawback if life controls you is that you don’t know where you are going. There’s no direction, there are no thrills and there is nothing to look forward to. Now I want to ask you, is this the kind of life you want? I’m sure the answer would be no. So you need to ask yourself this, “Am I controlling my life or is my life controlling me?” Trust me, by asking this pivotal question you can turn your life around.

What are the cues that will determine if you have control over your life?

Well, one good example is when someone asks you to do something for them and you politely say no because you know you are swamped with work and you simply could not squeeze in any more tasks within your day. You don’t have to explain yourself and you don’t have to worry about whether or not you have offended them as long as you are polite and honest about it. When you say NO it means you are in control of your life because you know that if you do that one thing they ask of you, it’s going to impact your work, your schedule or your business.

Meanwhile, you know that you’re not in control when you keep on saying, “Yes, yes and yes” to everything people shove at you. Learning to say no is one of the signs that you are in control and that my friend is a good thing. But this does not also mean that you should deliberately say no to everything all of the time. You also have to weigh your options. If you think saying yes to a coffee date with a friend won’t affect your work then go ahead and have coffee. Unwind and spend the afternoon guiltlessly talking about anything under the sun.

Having control does not mean you should obsess over work. It simply means you can manage to balance life and work. I suggest you structure your life by week or by month or by year so you know where you’re heading. This will also give you a clearer picture of what you want to achieve through the time frame you’ve created. This also allows you to set aside time for work, for family and more importantly for yourself. If you want to be in control, set some boundaries and learn to structure your time because doing so will give you more freedom, more time, more money and more happiness.